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The effects of freezing, storage, and thawing on cell compartment integrity and ultrastructure.

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  • P Prentø
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The effects of slow freezing and thawing on enzyme compartmentalization and ultrastructure were studied in rat liver slices frozen in dry ice, isopentane/ethanol-dry ice, or liquid nitrogen, and stored at -80 degrees C for 1-14 days. Non-frozen slices served as controls. Frozen liver slices were thawed in a Karnovsky fixative and processed for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). After all freezing protocols, the outer zone of frozen-thawed tissue was ultrastructurally very similar to that of non-frozen liver. Towards the center of the tissue, the ultrastructure progressively deteriorated. Comparison with 50-microm cryostat sections prepared for TEM showed that thawing and not freezing is the detrimental step for fair preservation of ultrastructure. After thawing, homogenization, and differential centrifugation, distribution patterns of soluble marker enzymes were analyzed (cytosol, lactate dehydrogenase; mitochondrial matrix, glutamate dehydrogenase; lysosomes, acid phosphatase). The enzyme activities were not affected by storage for 2 weeks and the activity distributions showed that protein leakage from compartments was only minimally increased in frozen-thawed tissue compared with that from non-frozen tissue, irrespective of the method of freezing. In conclusion, fairly large tissue slices (20x5x3 mm) may be frozen and stored at -80 degrees C for biochemical, ultrahistochemical or ultrastructural studies. For ultrastructural analysis, only the periphery of the tissue slice should be used.
Bidragets oversatte titelThe effects of freezing, storage, and thawing on cell compartment integrity and ultrastructure.
TidsskriftHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)543-547
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 1997

ID: 32536553