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Eur J Histochem. 2014 Dec 17;58(4):2448. doi: 10.4081/ejh.2014.2448.

Wheat germ agglutinin staining as a suitable method for detection and quantification of fibrosis in cardiac tissue after myocardial infarction.

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Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf.


The quantification of fibrotic tissue is an important task in the analysis of cardiac remodeling. The use of established fibrosis staining techniques is limited on frozen cardiac tissue sections due to a reduced color contrast compared to paraffin embedded sections. We therefore used FITC-labeled wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which marks fibrotic tissue in comparable quality as the established picrosirius red (SR) staining, for the staining of post myocardial infarction scar tissue. The fibrosis amount was quantified in a histogram-based approach using the non-commercial image processing program ImageJ. Our results clearly demonstrate that WGA-FITC is a suitable marker for cardiac fibrosis in frozen tissue sections. In combination with the histogram-based analysis, this new quantification approach is i) easy and fast to perform; ii) suitable for raw frozen tissue sections; and iii) allows the use of additional antibodies in co-immunostaining.

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