Comparative Analysis of H&E and Prussian Blue Staining in a Mouse Model of Cerebral Microbleeds

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Cerebral microbleeds are microscopic hemorrhages with deposits of blood products in the brain, which can be visualized with MRI and are implicated in cerebrovascular diseases. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Perl’s Prussian blue are popular staining methods used to localize cerebral microbleeds in pathology. This paper compared these two staining techniques in a mouse model of cerebral microbleeds. We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce cerebral microhemorrhages. C57B6 mice were treated with LPS (5 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle at baseline and at 24 hr. The brains were extracted 48 hr after the first injection and adjacent coronal sections were stained with H&E and Prussian blue to compare the effectiveness of the two staining techniques. H&E-positive stains were increased with LPS treatment and were correlated with grossly visible microhemorrhages on the brain surface; Prussian blue-positive stains, by comparison, showed no significant increase with LPS treatment and did not correlate with either H&E-positive stains or surface microhemorrhages. H&E staining is thus a more reliable indicator of acute bleeding events induced by LPS in this model within a short time span.


This article was originally published in Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, volume 62, issue 11, in 2014.


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