A staining method for bone canaliculi

Acta Orthop Scand. 1995 Apr;66(2):166-8. doi: 10.3109/17453679508995514.


The modified Bodian method with protargol (silver protein) is ordinarily used to detect nerve fibers. With this technique, applied to decalcified rat bone sections, the bone canaliculi were clearly stained black with good contrast to the bone matrix in both lamellar and woven bone. In addition, the connections between the bone canaliculi and other canaliculi, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and chondrocytes were easily detectable. We found that the bone canaliculi of woven bone were fewer in number and ran more irregularly than those of lamellar bone. We believe that this staining method for bone canaliculi in decalcified bone is superior to previously reported methods and may be useful in studies on bone pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Male
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*