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    Senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity assay is commonly used to evaluate the increased beta-galactosidase (β-gal) activity in senescent cells related to enhanced lysosomal activity. Although the optimal pH for β-gal is 4.0, this enzymatic activity has been most commonly investigated at a suboptimal pH by using histochemical reaction on fresh tissue material. In the current study, we optimized a SA-β-gal activity histochemistry protocol that can also be applied on cryopreserved hepatic tissue. This protocol was developed on livers obtained from control rats and after bile duct resection (BDR). A significant increase in β-gal liver activity was observed in BDR rats vs controls after 2 hr of staining at physiological pH 4.0 (6.98 ± 1.19% of stained/total area vs 0.38 ± 0.22; p<0.01) and after overnight staining at pH 5.8 (24.09 ± 6.88 vs 0.12 ± 0.08; p<0.01). Although we noticed that β-gal activity staining decreased with cryopreservation time (from 4 to 12 months of storage at -80C; p<0.05), the enhanced staining observed in BDR compared with controls remained detectable up to 12 months after cryopreservation (p<0.01). In conclusion, we provide an optimized protocol for SA-β-gal activity histochemical detection at physiological pH 4.0 on long-term cryopreserved liver tissue.


    Giulia Jannone, Milena Rozzi, Mustapha Najimi, Anabelle Decottignies, Etienne M Sokal. An Optimized Protocol for Histochemical Detection of Senescence-associated Beta-galactosidase Activity in Cryopreserved Liver Tissue. The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society. 2020 Apr;68(4):269-278

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    PMID: 32154749

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