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Histochemistry. 1989;93(1):27-9.

Are the polarization colors of picrosirius red-stained collagen determined only by the diameter of the fibers?

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Section of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


Polarization colors of various purified collagens were studied in fibers of similar thickness. Three different soluble collagens of type I, insoluble collagen type I, lathyritic collagen type I, two p-N-collagens type I, pepsin extract collagen type II, two soluble collagens type III, p-N-collagen type III, and soluble collagen type V were submitted to a routine histopathologic procedure of fixation, preparation of 5-microns-thick sections, staining with Picrosirius red and examination under crossed polars. Polarization colors were determined for thin fibers (0.8 micron or less) an thick fibers, (1.6-2.4 microns). Most thin fibers of collagens and p-N-collagens showed green to yellowish-green polarization colors with no marked differences between the various samples. Thick fibers of all p-N-collagens, lathyritic and normal 0.15 M NaCl-soluble collagens showed green to greenish-yellow polarization colors, while in all other collagens, polarization colors of longer wavelengths (from yellowish-orange to red) were observed. These data suggested that fiber thickness was not the only factor involved in determining the polarization colors of Picrosirius red-stained collagens. Tightly packed and presumably, better aligned collagen molecules showed polarization colors of longer wavelengths. Thus, packing of collagen molecules and not only fiber thickness plays a role in the pattern of polarization colors of Picrosirius red-stained collagens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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