Electron microscopic demonstration of neural connections using horseradish peroxidase: A comparison of the tetramethylbenzidine procedure with seven other histochemical methods

K. A. Carson, M. M. Mesulam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eight methods for the electron microscopic demonstration of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) labeling have been compared in adjacent series of vibratome sections of mouse lumbar spinal cord. The tracer, a HRP-wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) conjugate, was injected into the gastrocnemius muscle complex. Following retrograde axonal transport to the lumbar motor neurons and transganglionic anterograde transport of the tracer to the dorsal horn, the HRP activity was demonstrated in eight series of adjacent sections of lumbar spinal cord using eight methods. These included procedures using tetramethylbenzidine (TMB), benzidine dihydrochloride (BDHC), o-tolidine, paraphenylenediamine-pyrocatechol (PPD-PC), and 4 methods using 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB). All eight methods were able to demonstrate both retrograde labeling of motor neurons and transganglionic anterograde transport into the dorsal horn. However, there were differences in the appearance of the various reaction products under the electron microscope. In addition, differences in the distribution of the reaction products were observed by both light and electron microscopy. The largest distribution of reaction product was observed with TMB. BDHC and o-tolidine were next, followed by the DAB procedures and PPD-PC. The TMB, BDHC, and o-tolidine reaction products were all found to be suitable for electron microscopy. The TMB reaction product was electron dense and had a very distinctive crystalloid appearance that made identification of HRP-labeled neuronal profiles easy and unequivocal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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