Soluble proteins and glycogen particles, which are easily lost upon conventional chemical fixation, have been reported to be better preserved in paraffin-embedded sections by 'cryobiopsy' combined with freeze-substitution fixation (FS). In this study, we examined the distribution of glycogen in living mouse livers under physiologic and pathologic conditions with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining by cryobiopsy. The livers of the fully fed mice showed high PAS-staining intensity in the cytoplasm of all hepatocytes. The PAS-staining intensity gradually decreased away from hepatocytes around portal tracts, depending on treatments with different α-amylase concentrations. At 6 or 12 h after fasting, PAS-staining intensity markedly decreased in restricted areas of zone I near the portal tracts. The cryobiopsy was repeatedly performed not only on different mice, but also on individuals. Next, glycogen distributions were evaluated by temporarily clipping of liver tissues of anesthetized mice, followed by recovery of blood circulation. In the liver tissues in which blood was recirculated for 1 h after the 30 min anoxia, PAS staining was still observed in zone II and also in restricted areas of zone I far from the portal tracts. In PAS-unstained hepatocytes, the immunoglobulin-kappa light chain was not detected in the cytoplasm, indicating that cell membrane permeability was retained and that glycogen metabolism was related to the functional state of blood circulation. We propose that the level of consumption or production of glycogen particles could vary in zone I, depending on the distance from the portal tracts. Thus, cryobiopsy combined with FS enabled us to examine time-dependent changes in glycogen distribution in the liver tissues of living mice. This combination might be applicable to the clinical evaluation of human liver tissues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Cell Biology