Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 4, pp 327–341 | Cite as

An update on the Golgi staining technique improving cerebellar cell type specificity

  • N. Czechowska
  • A. van Rienen
  • F. Lang
  • B. Eiberger
  • S. L. BaaderEmail author
Original Paper


The detailed morphological characterization of single cells was a major breakthrough in neuroscience during the turn of the twentieth century, enabling Ramon y Cajal to postulate the neuron doctrine. Even after 150 years, single cell analysis is an intriguing goal, newly motivated by the finding that autism might be caused by intricate and discreet changes in cerebellar morphology. Besides new single labelling technologies, the Golgi staining technique is still in use due to its whole cell labelling characteristics, its superior contrast performance over other methods and its apparent randomness of staining cells within a whole tissue block. However, the specificity and whole cell labelling of Golgi staining are also disputed controversially, and the method still has a poor reputation for being time consuming and needing high expenditures. We demonstrate here, how a classical Golgi technique can be adapted for staining different cerebellar cell types using a time-saving and efficient protocol, enabling the identification of the detailed morphological characteristics of single cells.


Golgi staining Cerebellum Purkinje cells Granule cells Bergmann glia Dendritic spines 



The authors are very grateful to Stefanie Ramrath and Sabine Molly-Klumbies for their excellent technical help, and Daniela Krauss and Narziss Haias for providing animal husbandry. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Grant GZ: INST1172/37-1FUGG (to SLB).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest, commercial or non-commercial. All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed (see “Materials and methods” section for details). This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Anatomy, Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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