Staining of brain section for the visualization of cell structures
Histology is the study of organ tissues on a cellular level and an important discipline of anatomy and pathology. For the histological examination of brain tissue, very thin sections are prepared and stained with various dyes which possess specific affinities towards the different cell structures. For example, Nissl staining with cresyl violet recognizes the nucleolus within the cell nucleus and the Nissl bodies within the cytoplasma where cellular protein synthesis takes place.
With other dyes like hematoxylin-eosin (HE), cytoplasma and the intercellular space can be differentiated. HE staining in intact brain sections results in a deep-red nucleus and nucleolus. The cytoplasma of healthy neuron, e.g, collagen proteins and other cytoplasmatic proteins are stained pink to red. Such characteristics are lost in ischemia-affected brain cells.
One of the most important technical devices of histology is the light microscope. It allows the examination of very thin tissue slices at a magnification up to 1000 times.
Working at an electron microscope
See also Microscopy