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About Mouse Pathology

The mission of the Mouse Pathology Core is to:

  • Provide histologic and hematopoietic research support services primarily to UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators studying the pathogenesis and treatment of organ and hematologic malignancies in mouse models of human cancer.
  • Educate UCSF students, staff, and faculty in the collection of cells and tissues from laboratory mice and in cytologic and histopathologic techniques useful for the examination of these materials.
  • Provide access to a wide range of laboratory testing through a contract with an outside vendor.
  • Promote access to experts in mouse pathology at UCSF and at outside institutions.

Services

PATHOLOGIC SERVICES

Samples for paraffin processing, embedding, cutting

What we provide:

  • Processing of fixed tissues for paraffin-embedding.
  • Paraffin-embedding.
  • Microtome sectioning of paraffin-embedded tissue blocks.
  • Hematoxylin & Eosin staining of paraffin-embedded tissue sections.
  • Decalcification of bony specimens prior to processing.

How to submit samples:

  • Tissues in fixative or post-fixative and in 70% alcohol—in sealed containers or embedding cassettes.
  • Tissues already embedded in paraffin blocks ready for sectioning.
  • Samples need to be clearly labeled with a sample # and the initials of the PI (in pencil).
  • Please direct questions or special needs to MPC Staff.

Where and when to submit samples:

  • Submit samples to the facility between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • If no one is present in the facility, samples can be left in the 4°C Mouse Pathology Refrigerator.
  • Samples will be processed only if a Mouse Pathology Paraffin Work Order Form is completed and submitted.

Samples for frozen-OCT processing, embedding, cutting

What we provide:

  • Processing of fixed or unfixed tissue for OCT-embedding.
  • OCT embedding.
  • Cryosectioning of OCT-embedded tissue blocks.
  • Hematoxylin & Eosin staining of OCT-embedded tissue sections.

How to submit samples:

  • Tissues in fixative (can be submitted at room temperature).
  • Tissues in post-fixative and in sucrose (in sealed container on wet ice).
  • Tissues already embedded in OCT blocks ready for sectioning (on dry ice).
  • Samples need to be clearly labeled with a sample # and the initials of the PI.
  • Please direct questions or special needs to MPC Staff.

Where and when to submit samples:

  • Please notify the Core that samples will be submitted.
  • In general, submit samples to the facility between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • If no one is going to be present in the facility at the time of drop-off, pre-arranged drop-off is necessary.
  • Samples will be processed only if the Mouse Pathology Frozen OCT Work Order Form is completed and submitted.

Special Stains for Tissue Sections
(pre-arrange with MPC Staff)

  • Alcian bue
  • Aniline blue
  • Chloroacetate esterase
  • Elastic Van Gieson
  • LFB
  • Nissi
  • PAS
  • Saffranin O/Fast Green
  • Oil Red-O
  • Toluidine blue
  • Trichrome (Gomori’s and Mason’s)
  • Van Gieson
  • Von Kossa

HEMATOLOGIC SERVICES

CBC/CBC with Blood Smear Prep

What we provide:

  • CBC includes:—Automated cell count including WBC, RBC, hemoglobin, MCV, and platelet count.—Automated WBC differential cell count. (Manual confirmation of WBC differential results is often desirable.)
  • Blood Smear Prep is a smear stained with Wright’s Giemsa.

How to submit samples:

  • Contact the Core prior to collection to ensure timely analysis of samples.
  • Samples need to be submitted in Pediatric EDTA tubes.
  • Minimum of 50 microliters (although smaller volumes can be submitted under special circumstances).
  • Blood samples should not be diluted and should not be exposed to anti-coagulants other than EDTA.
  • Samples need to be clearly labeled with the sample # and initials of the PI.
  • As samples age, the quality of the information obtained diminishes. Therefore, if possible, samples should be submitted prior to 3 pm on the day of collection.
  • Samples can be run by Core personnel, or after training, the samples can be run by the investigator using the Core’s blood cell analyzer (Hemavet).
  • Please direct questions or special needs to MPC Staff.

Where and when to submit samples:

  • Contact the Core prior to collection to ensure timely analysis of samples.
  • Submit samples to the facility between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • If no one is present in the facility, samples can be left on the tube rocker labeled “Blood samples for analysis.”
  • Samples will be analyzed only if the Mouse Pathology Blood/Marrow Work Order Form is completed and submitted.

Notes:By collecting identifying information on control samples submitted to the lab, we can provide a range of normal values for commonly used mice. For recommendations on manual WBC differential cell counting, please contact Dr. Scott Kogan. Protocols for blood smear and marrow smear preparations with Wright’s Giemsa stain are available.

Cytospin Prep and Stain

What we provide:

  • 1 Wrights Giemsa stained cytospin
  • 3 unstained cytospins
  • Additional unstained cytospins if requested

How to submit samples:

  • Contact the Core prior to collection to ensure timely preparation of cytospins.
  • Please submit disaggregated cells (of any type) in PBS or HBSS with 2% heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum in a plastic screw cap tube with cell concentration (cell #/ml) noted on the tube.
  • Samples need to be clearly labeled with the sample # and initials of the PI.
  • As samples age, the quality of the information obtained diminishes. Therefore, if possible, samples should be submitted prior to 3 pm on the day of collection.
  • Please direct questions or special needs to MPC Staff.

Where and when to submit samples:

  • Submit samples to the facility between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • If no one is present in the facility, samples can be left on the rack labeled “Cells for analysis.”
  • Samples will be analyzed only if the Mouse Pathology Blood/Marrow Work Order Form is completed and submitted.

Special Stains for Cytology

(pre-arrange with MPC Staff)

  • Sudan black B (variably stains neutrophilic, eosinophilic, and monocytic cells)
  • Chloroacetate esterase (strongly stains mast cells, and variably stains neutrophilic and occasionally other cell types)
  • Non-specific esterase (variably stains monocytic and occasionally other cell types)

Outside Veterinary Laboratory Testing

A broad range of laboratory testing on mice is available through the Core. Samples are sent to IDEXX Veterinary Services. Among the panels available are a Chemistry Profile on mouse serum and a Coagulation Panel on mouse blood anticoagulated with citrate.

What we provide:

  • Tubes appropriate for sample collection.
  • Results of laboratory tests.

How to submit samples:

  • Contact the Core prior to collection to ensure timely analysis of samples.
  • Specimen requirements vary with laboratory tests requested.
  • Samples need to be clearly labeled with the sample # and initials of the PI.
  • As samples age, the quality of the information obtained diminishes. Therefore, if possible, samples should be submitted prior to 3 pm on the day of collection.
  • Please direct questions or special needs to MPC Staff.

Where and when to submit samples:

  • Contact the Core prior to collection to ensure timely analysis of samples.
  • Submit samples to the facility between 9 am and 5 pm.
  • If no one is going to be present in the facility at the time of drop-off, pre-arranged drop-off is necessary.
  • Samples will be analyzed only if the Mouse Pathology Blood/Marrow Work Order Form is completed and submitted.

Note: By collecting identifying information on control samples submitted to the lab, we can provide a range of normal values for commonly used mice.

Additional Resources
A searchable database of core facilities at all UCSF campus locations, provided by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, is available here.

This core is supported by a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (5P30CA082013-15). Any publications related to work done by this core, should reference grant number 5P30CA082013-15 and must include a PMCID as required by the NIH. For more information on how to obtain a PMCID, please see http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process.htm.

For more information on the CCSG, please contact Jordan Brainerd at brainerdj@cc.ucsf.edu.