Ferric chloride, when boiled with ammonium thiocyanate, ammonia and cacodylic acid, is converted into a fine anionic iron colloid which consists of 1.0-1.5 nm electron dense granules and gives a distinct Prussian blue reaction (Ohtsuka and Murakami, 1986). Light microscopy of tissue sections stained with this fine anionic iron colloid at pH values of 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0 showed that the healthy adult rat brain contains a considerable number of neurons which possess an intensely positively charged perineuronal net. This net was most clearly demonstrable by staining with the anionic iron colloid at a pH value of 8.0, at which ionizations of almost all cationic sites of the tissue elements were obliterated. Transmission electron microscopy of ultrathin sections stained at a pH value of 8.0 showed that the anionic iron colloid was preferentially deposited in the perineuronal tissue spaces. These findings indicate that the intensely positively charged perineuronal net contains some strongly basic substances such as guanidino compounds, and occupies the perineuronal (perisynaptic) tissue space.
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