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Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1989 Jun;11(3):211-7.

Automated Feulgen staining with a temperature-controlled staining machine.

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Institute of Pathology, Aachen University of Technology, Federal Republic of Germany.


A Shandon Varistain 24-3 staining machine was modified in order to run automated DNA Feulgen staining. Initial studies showed a strict dependence of the staining intensity (integrated optical density [IOD]) on the temperature of the DNA hydrolysis in 4 N HCl: a difference of 0.5 degrees C around the optimum hydrolysis temperature of 27.5 degrees C resulted in IOD differences of up to 7.8% in epithelial cells and up to 12.0% in lymphocytes. A temperature-controlled stainless steel cuvette, covered with a 4 N HCl-resistant material, was developed and integrated into the machine. Temperature measurements were performed at different positions in the cuvette and on glass slides with copper-constantan electrodes fixed on them; no temperature gradient could be detected within the cuvette. The adjusted temperature of 27.5 degrees C remained constant over 24 hours. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the staining intensity in lymphocytes between different areas on the same slide and between different slides of the same staining cycle was less than 0.6%. The CV between different staining cycles was 5.9%. This system for automated Feulgen staining thus gives reproducible and reliable results and may be introduced into routine diagnostic procedures.

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