It has been repeatedly shown that synaptically released zinc contributes to excitotoxic neuronal injury in ischemia, epilepsy, and mechanical head trauma. Such zinc-induced injury leaves an unmistakable 'footprint' in the injured neurons, allowing an easy and unambiguous postmortem diagnosis. This footprint is the presence of weakly bound, histochemically reactive zinc in the cytoplasm of the perikaryon and proximal dendrites. Such staining appears to be a necessary and sufficient marker for zinc-induced neuronal injury. Here we show how to prepare and stain tissue from biopsy, autopsy, or experimental animal sources for maximal contrast and visibility of zinc- injured neurons.
- Neuronal injury
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