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J Histochem Cytochem. 1987 Apr;35(4):453-9.

Detection of albumin mRNAs in rat liver by in situ hybridization: usefulness of paraffin embedding and comparison of various fixation procedures.


Our aim was to define optimal conditions for efficient and reproducible albumin mRNA detection in rat liver by in situ hybridization. We used an albumin-specific [3H]-labeled cDNA probe with a specific activity of 6-8.10(6) cpm/microgram DNA. In situ hybridization is as efficient on paraffin sections as on cryostat sections for detecting albumin mRNAs. Perfusion fixation with a 4% paraformaldehyde solution results in homogeneous RNA retention within tissue blocks, in contrast with immersion fixation, which yields heterogeneous RNA preservation. Comparison of immersion fixation with three different fixatives (paraformaldehyde, ethanol-acetic acid, and Bouin's fixative) shows that the highest level of hybridization signal is obtained with paraformaldehyde. Ethanol-acetic acid and Bouin's fixative appear less efficient for albumin mRNA detection. Loss of mRNAs within liver tissue blocks over time is largely although not completely prevented by paraffin embedding.

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