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The effect of histological processing on the form of iron in iron-loaded human tissues

Chua‐anusorn, W., Webb, J., Macey, D.J., Pootrakul, P. and St Pierre, T.G. (1997) The effect of histological processing on the form of iron in iron-loaded human tissues. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1360 (3). pp. 255-261.

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Iron-loaded human spleen tissue was immersed in neutral buffered formalin over a period of 200 days. Over the first 60 days, iron leached steadily from the tissue until 3% had been lost. Thereafter, no further iron leaching was detected. Comparisons of Mossbauer spectra of freeze-dried tissue and tissue freeze-dried after immersion in formalin for 200 days showed no evidence of chemical transformation of the iron remaining in the tissue. The spectra indicated a difference in the heme-iron to non-heme iron ratio between the two samples probably reflecting inhomogeneity of the ratio throughout the spleen as measured on the centimetre scale. Mossbauer spectra of freeze-dried samples of iron-loaded human liver and pancreas tissue were compared with those for samples from the same patient that had been processed by routine hospital procedures for histology and archival. These spectra showed no evidence for chemical transformation of the iron present in the tissues. These results demonstrate that it is feasible to use archived fixed and embedded human tissue samples for studies aimed at gauging the relative fraction of goethite-like hemosiderin present in the tissue.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: (c) Elsevier BV
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