Bleaching melanin in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded melanoma specimens using visible light: a pilot study
In fluorescence microscopy, light radiation can be used to bleach fluorescent molecules in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, in order to increase the ratio between signal of interest and background autofluorescence. We tested if the same principle can be exploited in bright field microscopy to bleach pigmented melanoma FFPE sections together with cell morphology maintenance. After dewaxing and rehydration, serial FFPE sections of a feline diffuse iris melanoma, a canine dermal melanoma, a gray horse dermal melanoma and a swine cutaneous melanoma were irradiated with visible light for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days, prior to Hematoxylin and Eosin staining. Complete bleaching was obtained after 1-day treatment in feline and swine melanomas, while 2 and 3 days were required in canine and equine neoplasms, respectively. In all treated samples, cell morphology was maintained. Photo-induced bleaching combined with immunohistochemistry was tested after a 3-day photo-treatment using five different markers. According to the literature, in all samples neoplastic cells stained positive for vimentin, S100 and PNL2, while negative for FVIII and pancytokeratin. In conclusion, visible light can be effectively exploited to bleach pigmented melanoma FFPE sections prior to perform routine histochemical and immunohistochemical stains.
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