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Safranin O reduces loss of glycosaminoglycans from bovine articular cartilage during histological specimen preparation.
Department of Anatomy, University o Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.
Department of Anatomy, University o Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland. (Chondrogenic and Osteogenic Differentiation Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6181-9904
Department of Anatomy, University o Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.
Department of Anatomy, University o Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.
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1996 (English)In: The Histochemical Journal, ISSN 0018-2214, E-ISSN 1573-6865, Vol. 28, no 2, 99-107 p., 8737291Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ability of Safranin O, added to fixation and decalcification solutions, to prevent the escape of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) from small cartilage tissue blocks during histological processing of cartilage has been studied. GAGs in the fixatives and decalcifying solutions used and those remaining in the 1 mm3 cubes of cartilage were assayed biochemically. The quantity of GAGs remaining in the cartilage cubes were determined from Safranin O-stained sections using videomicroscopy or microspectrophotometry. A quantity (10.6%) of GAGs were lost during a conventional 4% buffered formaldehyde fixation (48 h) and a subsequent decalcification in 10% EDTA (12 days) at 4 degrees C. Roughly one-quarter of the total GAG loss occurred during the 48 h fixation, and three-quarters during the 12 days of decalcification. Inclusion of 4% formaldehyde in the decalcification fluid decreased the loss of GAGs to 6.2%. The presence of 0.5% Safranin O in the fixative reduced this loss to 3.4%. When 0.5% Safranin O was included in the fixative and 4% formaldehyde in the decalcification solution, Safranin O staining of the histological sections increased on average by 13.5%. After fixation in the presence of 0.5% Safranin O, there was no difference in the staining intensities when decalcification was carried out in the presence of either Safranin O or formaldehyde, or both. It took 24 h for Safranin O to penetrate into the deep zone of articular cartilage, warranting a fixation period of at least this long. In conclusion, the addition of Safranin O to the fixative and either Safranin O or formaldehyde in the following decalcification fluid, markedly reduces the loss of GAGs from small articular cartilage explants during histological processing. However, for immunohistochemical studies, Safranin O cannot be included in the processing solutions, because it may interfere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chapman & Hill , 1996. Vol. 28, no 2, 99-107 p., 8737291
Keyword [en]
Articular cartilage, proteoglycans, histology, sample preparation
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Orthopedics
Research subject
Biochemistry; cellforskning; Orthopaedics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108052PubMedID: 8737291OAI: diva2:850760
Available from: 2015-09-02 Created: 2015-09-02 Last updated: 2015-09-02

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