Histochemistry through the years, browsing a long-established journal: novelties in traditional subjects
AbstractHistochemical journals represent a traditional forum where methodological and technological improvements can be presented and validated in view of their applications to investigate not only cytology and histology in normal and diseased conditions but to test as well hypotheses on more basic issues for life sciences, such as comparative and evolutionary biology. The earliest scientific journals on histochemistry began their publication in the first half of the ‘50s of the last century, and their readership did not probably change over the years; rather, the authors’ interests may have progressively been changing as well as the main topics of their articles. This hypothesis is discussed, based on the subjects of the article published in the first and last ten years in the European Journal of Histochemistry, as an example of old journal which started publication in 1954, being since then the official organ of the Italian Society of Histochemistry. This survey confirmed that histochemistry has provided and still offers unique opportunities for studying the structure, chemical composition and function of cells and tissues in a wide variety of living organisms, especially when the topological distribution of specific molecular components has diagnostic or predictive significance, as it occurs in human and veterinary biology and pathology. Some subjects (e.g. histochemistry applied to muscle cells or to mineralized tissues) have recently become rather popular, whereas a wider application of the histochemical approach may be envisaged for plant cells and tissues.
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