Grimelius' silver stain for endocrine cell granules, as shown by electron microscopy

Gabriele Vassallo, Carlo Capella, Enrico Solcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The silver impregnation method of Grimelius has been applied to 100-150 μ thick sections of tissues fixed 2 hr to 1 mo in mixtures containing formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde or picric acid. After silvering, the sections (partly postfixed in 1% OsO4, for 0.5 hr) were processed for electron microscopy. Endocrine granules of pancreatic A cells, enter-ochromaffin and some nonenterochromaffin cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa, thyroid C cells and adrenal medullary cells were found to be selectively stained by silver grains 10-30 nm in diameter, either as a peripheral "halo" or covering the entire granule. At least in some cells, the reactive material should not be identified with the hormonal products known to be stored in the granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalBiotechnic and Histochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1971

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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