Histological Staining Techniques

Holmes’ method for axons

Holmes 1947
Use 10-20 micron paraffin wax sections.


Impregnating solution:

Reducing solution: 




Axons - black
Background - greyish (turning purple with time)
Muscle striations - black


Coplin jars should be thoroughly cleaned before use.

The 20% silver nitrate can be re-used but the impregnating must only be used once.

This method is applicable for both CNS and peripheral nerve material, and also demonstrates cross-striations of muscle fibres.

*When making up the reducing solution it is best to add the sodium sulphite to the water while it is being rapidly stirred. If not it tends to form a hard mass that is difficult to dissolve.

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