Comparative analysis of an improved thioflavin-S stain, Gallyas silver stain, and immunohistochemistry for neurofibrillary tangle demonstration on the same sections

Anyang Sun, Xuan V. Nguyen, Guoying Bing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

An improved thioflavin-S stain, Gallyas silver stain, and two immunostainings were quantitatively compared for demonstration of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) on the same sections. Sections of hippocampal formation from seven cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) were immunofluorescently stained with a commercially available polyclonal NFT antibody or a PHF-1 monoclonal antibody, followed by an improved thioflavin-S stain, and finally by Gallyas silver staining. The thioflavin-S method was improved by using a combination quenching method that removes background autofluorescence without remarkable tissue damage and by post-treatment with concentrated phosphate buffer, which minimizes photobleaching. PHF-1 or NFT immunostaining is much less sensitive than the improved thioflavin-S staining and Gallyas silver staining, particularly in the transentorhinal region. Moreover PHF-1 immunoreactivity varied greatly among AD individuals. Thioflavin-S staining and Gallyas silver staining show almost the same sensitivity in NFT demonstration, but only the former depends on the secondary protein structure of NFTs. This study suggests that the improved thioflavin-S staining is a simple, sensitive, and consistent method for demonstration of neurofibrillary pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-472
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Silver staining
  • Thioflavin S
  • Transentorhinal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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