Histochemistry


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histochemistry

[¦hi·stō′kem·ə·strē]
(biochemistry)
A science that deals with the distribution and activities of chemical components in tissues.

Histochemistry

 

the division of histology that studies the chemical properties of animal and plant tissue.

Histochemistry seeks to elucidate the characteristics of metabolism in tissue cells and interstitial media. It studies changes in cell properties in the process of development and the connection between the work, metabolism, and renewal of mature cells and tissues. A basic principle of histochemical methodology is the bonding of a definite chemical component of cells with a stain or the formation of a stain in the process of the reaction. A number of methods (cytophotometry and luminescence and interference microscopy) are based on the physical properties of substances. Various histochemical methods determine the localization and quantity of many substances in tissue and their metabolism (tissue autoradiography), bonds with submicroscopic structure (electron histochemistry), and enzyme activity. Immunohistochemistry is a promising trend. The most precise histochemical methods, which permit investigation of cell structure, are called cytochemical methods.

The first special histochemical research was done by the French scientist F. Raspail (1825-34). Histochemistry began to develop intensively beginning in the 1940’s, when reliable methods appeared for determining proteins, nucleic acids, lipides, polysaccharides, and certain inorganic components in the cell. By means of histochemical methodology it has been possible, for instance, to show for the first time the connection of changes in the quantity of RNA with the synthesis of protein and the constancy of DNA content in the chromosome bank.

REFERENCES

Pearse, E. Gistokhimiia: Teoreticheskaia i prikladnaia. Moscow, 1962. (Translated from English.)
Burstone, M. Gistokhimiia fermentov. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from English.)

V. IA. BRODSKII

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