The effect of adding cetylpyridinium chloride to the fixative on the preservation of sulphated glycosaminoglycans (SGs) was studied in human normal colonic mucosa. SGs were visualized at the ultrastructural level through the application of Spicer's High Iron Diamine (HID) technique followed by a post-fixation with potassium ferrocyanide-reduced osmium tetroxide. SGs were mainly localized in basement membranes of epithelium and capillary wall and along collagen fibers. The morphology of the reactive sites depended on the presence of cetylpyridinium chloride, SGs being granular in absence of the salt and more or less elongated when cetylpyridinium chloride was added to the fixative. We suggest that the use of cetylpyridinium chloride during fixation may help to preserve SG molecule at the ultrastructural level.
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