Silver staining of myelin by means of physical development

Neurol Res. 1979;1(2):203-9. doi: 10.1080/01616412.1979.11739553.


For staining myelin with silver a physical development technique has been devised that can render visible the thinnest fibers in various animal species, including fishes and reptiles, even in the early phase of myelination and may be applied to both frozen and embedded materials. Its principle is as follows: Myelin can form and bind colloidal silver particles in a 0.1% ammoniacal silver nitrate solution of pH 7.5. The production of metallic silver by other tissue elements is suppressed by the sections pretreated with a 2:1 mixture of pyridine and acetic anhydride for 30 min. The colloidal silver particles bound in the myelin are enlarged to microscopic dimensions by a special physical developer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anura
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure*
  • Silver Nitrate
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology
  • Staining and Labeling / methods*
  • Superior Colliculi / anatomy & histology


  • Silver Nitrate