Author(s): Minassian H, Huang S
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Abstract An electron microscopic study was carried out to examine the quality of ultrastructural preservation of parenchymatous and mesenchymatous tissues and isolated cells fixed in glutaraldehyde with sodium azide (NaN3) as an additive. The dense tissues fixed with conventional glutaraldehyde containing calcium chloride demonstrated only a narrow zone of good tissue preservation on the surface of the specimens. Addition of azide at a concentration of 0.1\% greatly improved the cellular preservation in the deeper region of tissues, in particular with respect to the mitochondrial morphology. There was no adverse effect on other cell organelles. The improvement in mitochondrial preservation and the enhancement of penetration of the fixative is presumably due to selective and instantaneous inhibition of mitochondrial metabolic activity by the azide, thus retarding anoxic degenerative effects on cellular structures until permanent fixation is completed by the comparatively slow-acting aldehyde. However, the addition of azide offers no significant improvement in the ultrastructural preservation of isolated lymphocytes and liver cells, or fibroblasts maintained in culture.
This article was published in J Microsc
and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research