Mouse Histology can be a powerful tool in elaborating gene function.

An expanding role of histology in understanding how alterations in gene expression can affect tissue/organ function becomes clearer as more genome sequences are completed. Classical histochemical stains not only provide a morphological overview, but often are instrumental in the initial analysis of possible aberrations in tissues. Through varied histological techniques, researchers can visually examine DNA synthesis, RNA/microRNA expression, and protein translation in tissues and cells in the mouse. Endogenous cell markers may be used to help distinguish subsets of transformed malignant cells, putative stem cells, and stem cell niches. Furthermore, histological preparations have growing applications in thick section/whole organ imaging and laser capture microdissection.

What we do

The Histology Service Laboratory provides assistance to mouse biology research scientists in processing tissue samples for routine histochemical and immunostaining procedures. We commonly train new users in sample preparation and sectioning with the available equipment in the laboratory. Asides from established techniques such as whole-mount or section in situ hybridisation and thick-section immunohistochemistry, the laboratory also works with the researcher to develop new histological approaches to make evident changes in cell/tissue morphology in mice. Recent examples of newly adapted techniques include fluorescent detection of ligand binding on tissue sections, visualisation of single mRNA molecules by smFISH, and possible application of CLARITY-based protocols to various adult or embryonic tissues in the mouse.

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Keratin-14 expression in lingual epithelium traced by LacZ staining.

Services provided

  • Paraffin embedding and serial/step sectioning of tissue or whole embryo samples.
  • Whole-mount in situ hybridisation/immunohistochemistry of early to mid-gestation mouse embryos.
  • Section in situ hybridisation (mRNA, microRNA), immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence.
  • Assisting and providing advice to users in the proper extraction of samples for histological analysis.
  • Assisting in characterisation of Cre-lines.