Histology and Immunohistochemistry Services

Histology and immunohistochemistry


RenaSci’s necropsy team can take a variety of tissue samples at the end of studies. We can perform standard tissue collection along with preparation of tissues for specialised techniques such as histology and immunohistochemistry.  RenaSci can conduct as much or as little of the processing and analysis as you require.  Our histology and immunohistochemistry techniques can be used as a cost-effective add-on service to assess the mode of action or potential toxicological effects of novel compounds during the early stages of drug discovery.


Overview of services available :-


     •     Necropsies in rats and mice with reports on  gross macroscopic observations
     •     Tissue-sampling, weighing and preservation (eg tissues can be frozen using liquid
            nitrogen or dry-ice, formalin-fixed and wax-embedded to produce a tissue block)
     •     Tissue-sectioning using a microtome (wax-embedded tissues; ≥ 4 µM thick) or 
            cryostat (frozen tissues; 15-25 µM thick) 
     •     Histology, immunohistochemistry and image analysis


We can send frozen/formalin-fixed samples, wax-embedded tissue blocks or tissue samples mounted onto microscrope slides to laboratories of your choice for analysis. Alternatively, we can perform histological and immunohistochemical staining and subsequent image analysis in-house. All analyses can also be performed on samples provided from external sources.

 Histology and immunohistochemistry






Our range of histological stains include:-


     •     Haematoxylin and Eosin staining for routine staining of cell structures
     •     Oil Red O staining for lipids and neutral triglycerides.
     •     Azan Trichrome and Masson’s Trichrome staining for connective tissue. 
     •     Periodic Acid Schiff histological stain for glycogen and other periodate-reactive


For example, we have used Azan Trichrome staining to demonstrate increased interstitial fibrosis and Periodic Acid Schiff staining to demonstrate increased glomerular sclerosis in sections of kidney taken from streptozotocin-treated mice on high fat diet (an animal model of diabetic nephropathy).

Kidney histology


Our immunohistochemical services include immunostaining for insulin and glucagon eg in pancreatic tissue following streptozotocin treatment.


Representative digital images of tissue stained for either histology or immunohistochemistry can be captured using a light microscope.  Quantitative image analysis can be performed in-house using Leica QWinPro image analysis to count cell number, size and percentage area of staining. If required, slides can be prepared from pancreatic tissue for the measurement of β-cell mass and sent out-of-house to a laboratory of your choice for quantification.


In addition to the histological and immunohistochemical stains described above we have the expertise to develop protocols and optimise assay conditions for any commercially available antibodies and stains.


Please contact us for further information on our histology and immunohistochemistry services relevant to the diabetes and obesity therapeutic areas.



Poucher et al. 2010. Preservation of pancreatic beta cell-mass in high fat-fed STZ treated mice by the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors saxagliptin and sitagliptin. Poster No. 567. European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), Stockholm, Sweden, 20th-24th September 2010.


Poucher et al. 2012. Effects of saxagliptin and sitagliptin on glycemic control and pancreatic β-cell mass in a streptozotocin-induced mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab 14(10): 918-926. [PubMed]