Suitability of RNALater solution as a tissue-preserving reagent for immunohistochemical analysis

  • Anastasia V. Suhovskih
  • Galina M. Kazanskaya
  • Alexander M. Volkov
  • Alexandra Y. Tsidulko
  • Svetlana V. Aidagulova
  • Elvira V. GrigorievaEmail author
Short Communication


Histological and immunohistochemical studies require high-quality paraffin blocks, where proper fixation of tissue samples with formalin is a key point. However, in some cases, the possibility to preserve biological samples prior to the formalin fixation or to use deposited tissues from biobanks is important. RNA-stabilizing reagent RNALater represents a potential option, but its suitability for pathological and immunohistochemical studies remains underinvestigated. Here, comparative study of formalin-fixed tissues and those had undergone preservation with RNALater was performed for different SCID mice tissues (brain, liver, kidney, and lung) using histological staining (hematoxylin–eosin and Weigert-van Gieson) or immunostaining for b-actin, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and glycosaminoglycan chondroitin sulfate. It was shown that RNALater preservation for 7–14 days was suitable for histological characterisation of mouse lung tissue, whereas all other tissues demonstrated some changes. Immunoreactivity of all the studied tissues was affected to a different extent, and the observed changes were detected at the 7th day already and continued to get worse by the 14th day. Overall, RNALater preservation affects immunogenicity of normal mouse tissues (brain, liver, kidney, and lung) making them unsuitable for immunohistochemistry. Some tissues retain their morphology (lung tissue) or demonstrate moderate changes (brain, liver, kidney), suggesting a restricted suitability of the RNALater-preserved tissues for histological analysis.


RNALater tissue preservation Biobank Histology Immunohistochemistry Glial fibrillary acidic protein Chondroitin sulfate 



Authors thank Maria Zolotykh for the help with paraffin blocks preparation. Authors thank the Center for Genetic Resources of Laboratory Animals at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences for providing the experimental animals and equipment. This study was funded by Russian Science Foundation (Grant number 16-15-10243). AYT was supported by scholarship of Russian Federation President for young scientists (SP-5435.2018.4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional/national research committee and European Communities Council Directive (2010/63/EU). This article does not contain any studies with human performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Molecular Biology and Biophysics FRC FTMNovosibirskRussia
  2. 2.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussia
  3. 3.E. N. Meshalkin, Siberian Federal Biomedical Research CenterNovosibirskRussia
  4. 4.Novosibirsk State Medical UniversityNovosibirskRussia

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