A new use for long-term frozen brain tissue: Golgi impregnation

Academic Article


  • The study of dendritic spine shape and number has become a standard in the analysis of synaptic transmission anomalies since a considerable number of neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases have their foundation in alterations in these structures. One of the best ways to study possible alterations of dendritic spines is the use of Golgi impregnation. Although usually the Golgi method implies the use of fresh or fixed tissue, here we report the use of Golgi-Cox for the staining of human and animal brain tissue kept frozen for long periods of time. We successfully applied the Golgi-Cox method to human brain tissue stored for up to 15 years in a freezer. The technique produced reliable and reproducible impregnation of dendrites and dendritic spines in different cortical areas. We also applied the same technique to rat brain frozen for up to 1 year, obtaining the same satisfactory results. The fact that Golgi-Cox can be successfully applied to this type of tissue adds a new value for hundreds of frozen human or animal brains kept in the freezers of the laboratories, that otherwise would not be useful for anything else. Researchers other than neuroanatomists, i.e. in fields such as biochemistry and molecular biology can also benefit from a simple and reliable technique that can be applied to tissue left from their primary experiments. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Melendez-Ferro M; Perez-Costas E; Roberts RC
  • Start Page

  • 72
  • End Page

  • 77
  • Volume

  • 176
  • Issue

  • 2