Histology Research Core Facility

The Histology Facility in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology is designed to provide expertise and consultation on histological and immunohistochemical methods.

Histology Research Core Facility

The Histology Facility in the Department of Cell Biology & Physiology is designed to provide expertise and consultation on histological and immunohistochemical methods.



IHC image histo1 histo3 histo2 histo7

With the advancement and popular emphasis in molecular techniques in today’s laboratory, anatomy-based research—often critical in defining research projects—is becoming a lost art. Many research laboratories no longer have the floor space nor can afford the specialized histology equipment and the personnel required to perform these complex procedures. Today, researchers frequently include expensive mouse models to support and complement their research projects. Consistent and reliable histology is critical in providing structural and quantitative data for these mouse/animal models. The Departmental Histology Facility offers a variety of services insuring that histological techniques are always available for investigators and their research project needs.

The Histology Facility of the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at UNC-Chapel Hill is housed in a 600-square foot research laboratory in the Glaxo Building, room 4. The facility is equipped with two Leica 1950 cryostats, a Cryojane Tape Transfer frozen sectioning system, two Leica 2235 rotary microtomes, microscopes and a Vibratome.

The Facility has the equipment and expertise to produce reliable high-quality sections from fixed and unfixed tissues, frozen and paraffin-embedded tissues. Furthermore we provide a unique serial interrupted sectioning technique. This technique allows analysis of the full length of 4mm vessels or tissues, collected on multiple slides with each slide containing serial sections representing a specific distance through the full length of that tissue. In addition, special stains and immunohistochemical assays are routinely performed in the facility.

UNC Core policies recommend that all work provided by the Histology Research Core Facility be acknowledged when included in publications.  Acknowledgements can be referenced as:  Histological services provided by the Histology Research Core Facility in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC.  Additionally, employees of the Core who substantially contribute to a research publication should be recognized as any other co-author.  UNC SOM offers these helpful publication guidelines: http://www.abrf.org/index.cfm/page/resources/Authorship.htm.  For our continued educational benefit, please send notification of assisted publications to

For further information please contact:

Ashley Ezzell 

Kara Clissold
Research Specialist


Dr. Kathleen Caron
Faculty Advisor

Histology Services Available:

The Facility offers high quality, reliable, cost effective histological services including but not limited to:

NOTICE:  Hazardous or pathogenic tissue samples must be indicated.

Tissue Sectioning:

  • Tissue should be submitted in labeled container in proper fixative or appropriate solution/embedding matrix
  • Paraffin section – serial, random, serial interrupted
  • Frozen section – thaw mount cold/warm, serial, free floating,
    thick slice, random and serial interrupted
  • Vibratome section – for light level or E.M.


  • Routine staining, i.e., H+E
  • Special staining, Alcian blue, Cresyl violet, PAS, Oil red “O”, Toluidine blue, Von kossa, Combined Masons elastin, Picosirius red, Sudan IV, Thionin, Prussian blue, Movats pentachrome, Masson trichrome, Alcian blue/Phloxine/Tartrazine, others available upon request.


  • ABC method (direct/indirect)
  • Fluorescence
  • Biocytin detection
  • HRP

Download a tissue data sheet here

Ashley Ezzell

Research Specialist



Histology - Sample Images


Periodic acid-Schiff stain (PAS)
Glycogen—bright rose/red



Prussian blue stain for iron
Nuclei, hemofuschin—bright red




Von Kossa stain
Nuclei, muscle—red



Sudan IV-lipids stain






Artery—CME stain
Elastic Fibers—black,
Collagen, mucin—green



Gut—Picosirius red stain


Heart/valves—Masson Trichrome stain
Cytoplasm, muscle fibers—red
Collagen, mucin—blue


BrdU staining


Lysozyme Immuno staining


Neuron—GFP/Biocytin-SATR labeling

Histology - Publications

Cooley B, Funkhouser W, Monroe D, Ezzell A, Mann DM, Lin FC, Monahan PE, Stafford DW.  Prophylactic efficacy of BeneFIX vs Alprolix in hemophilia B mice  Blood. 2016 Apr 22. pii: blood-2016-01-696104. [Epub ahead of print]

Cozzo AJ*, Sundaram S*, Ottavia Zattra O, Qin Y, Freemerman AJ, Essaid L, Darr DB, Montgomery SA, McNaughton KK, Ezzell JA, Galanko JA, Troester MA,  Makowski L. cMET inhibitor crizotinib impairs angiogenesis and reduces tumor burden in the C3(1)-Tag model of basal-like breast cancer. Springer Plus Breast Cancer Collection, IN PRESS.  *denotes co-first authorship

Corbin JM, Overcash RF, Wren JD, Coburn A, Tipton GJ, Ezzell JA, McNaughton KK, Fung KM, Kosanke SD, Ruiz-Echevarria MJ. Analysis of TMEFF2 allografts and transgenic mouse models reveals roles in prostate regeneration and cancer. Prostate. 2015 Sep 29. doi: 10.1002/pros.23103. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:26417683

Van Landeghem L, Santoro MA, Mah AT, Krebs AE, Dehmer JJ, McNaughton KK, Helmrath MA, Magness ST, Lund PK. IGF1 stimulates crypt expansion via differential activation of 2 intestinal stem cell populations.  FASEB J. 2015 Apr 2. pii: fj.14-264010. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:25837582  

Sundaram S, Freemerman AJ, Galanko JA, McNaughton KK, Bendt KM, Darr DB, Troester MA, Makowski L. Obesity-mediated regulation of HGF/c-Met is associated with reduced basal-like breast cancer latency in parous mice. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 29;9(10):e111394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111394. eCollection 2014. PMID: 25354395

Casbas-Hernandez P, Sun X, Roman-Perez E, D'arcy M, Sandhu R, Hishida A, McNaughton KK, Yang XR, Makowski L, Sherman ME, Figueroa JD, Troester MA. Tumor Intrinsic Subtype is Reflected in Cancer-Adjacent Tissue. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Dec 2. pii: cebp.0934.2014. PMID:25465802

Sundaram S, Le TL, Essaid L, Freemerman AJ, Huang MJ, Galanko JA, McNaughton KK, Bendt KM, Darr DB, Troester MA, Makowski L. Weight Loss Reversed Obesity-Induced HGF/c-Met Pathway and Basal-Like Breast Cancer Progression. Front Oncol. 2014 Jul 8;4:175. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00175. eCollection 2014. PMID:25072025

Sundaram S, Freemerman AJ, Johnson AR, Milner JJ, McNaughton KK, Galanko JA, Bendt KM, Darr DB, Perou CM, Troester MA, Makowski L. Role of HGF in obesity-associated tumorigenesis: C3(1)-T<sub>Ag</sub> mice as a model for human basal-like breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24218051

Casbas-Hernandez P, D Arcy M, Roman-Perez E, Brauer HA, McNaughton K, Miller SM, Chhetri RK, Oldenburg AL, Fleming JM, Amos KD, Makowski L, Troester MA. Role of HGF in epithelial-stromal cell interactions during progression from benign breast disease to ductal carcinoma in situ. Breast Cancer Res. 2013 Sep 12;15(5):R82. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24025166.

Fuller MK, Faulk DM, Sundaram N, Mahe MM, Stout KM, von Furstenberg RJ, Smith BJ, McNaughton KK, Shroyer NF, Helmrath MA, Henning SJ. Intestinal stem cells remain viable after prolonged tissue storage. Cell Tissue Res. 2013 Jul 3. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23820734 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Related citations

Ding S, Walton KL, Blue RE, McNaughton K, Magness ST, Lund PK. Mucosal healing and fibrosis after acute or chronic inflammation in wild type FVB-N mice and C57BL6 procollagen α1(I)-promoter-GFP reporter mice. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042568. Epub 2012 Aug 3. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2012;7(10). doi:10.1371/annotation/91f1d7f8-b09d-4067-943c-148e926b403b. PMID: 22880035

Van Landeghem L, Santoro MA, Krebs AE, Mah AT, Dehmer JJ, Gracz AD, Scull BP, McNaughton K, Magness ST, Lund PK. Activation of two distinct Sox9-EGFP-expressing intestinal stem cell populations during crypt regeneration after irradiation. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 May 15;302(10):G1111-32. Epub 2012 Feb 23. PMID: 22361729 [PubMed - in process]

Ahn DK, Doutova EA, McNaughton K, Light AR, Närhi M, Maixner W. Functional properties of tooth pulp neurons responding to thermal stimulation.  J Dent Res. 2012 Apr;91(4):401-6. Epub 2012 Jan 17. PMID: 22257665 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

King JB, von Furstenberg RJ, Smith BJ, McNaughton KK, Galanko JA, Henning SJ. CD24 can be used to isolate Lgr5+ putative colonic epithelial stem cells in mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Aug 15;303(4):G443-52. Epub 2012 Jun 21. PMID: 22723265 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Newton VA, Ramocki NM, Scull BP, Simmons JG, McNaughton K, Lund PK. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 gene disruption promotes Apc(Min/+) tumorigenesis and activator protein-1 activation. Am J Pathol. 2010 May;176(5):2320-32. Epub 2010 Mar 26. PubMed PMID: 20348236; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2861097.

Zhang H, Sunnarborg SW, McNaughton KK, Johns TG, Lee DC, Faber JE. Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor signaling in flow-induced arterial remodeling. Circ Res. 2008 May 23;102(10):1275-85. Epub 2008 Apr 24. PubMed PMID: 18436796; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2752633.

Ramocki NM, Wilkins HR, Magness ST, Simmons JG, Scull BP, Lee GH, McNaughton KK, Lund PK. Insulin receptor substrate-1 deficiency promotes apoptosis in the putative intestinal crypt stem cell region, limits Apcmin/+ tumors, and regulates Sox9. Endocrinology. 2008 Jan;149(1):261-7. Epub 2007 Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 17916629; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2194604.

Michaylira CZ, Simmons JG, Ramocki NM, Scull BP, McNaughton KK, Fuller CR, Lund PK. Suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 limits intestinal growth and enterotrophic actions of IGF-I in vivo. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Sep;291(3):G472-81. Epub 2006 Mar 30. PubMed PMID: 16574995.

Michaylira CZ, Ramocki NM, Simmons JG, Tanner CK, McNaughton KK, Woosley JT, Greenhalgh CJ, Lund PK. Haplotype insufficiency for suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 enhances intestinal growth and promotes polyp formation in growth hormone-transgenic mice. Endocrinology. 2006 Apr;147(4):1632-41. Epub 2006 Jan 12. PubMed PMID: 16410303.

Eckert WA 3rd, McNaughton KK, Light AR. Morphology and axonal arborization of rat spinal inner lamina II neurons hyperpolarized by mu-opioid-selective agonists. J Comp Neurol. 2003 Apr 7;458(3):240-56. PubMed PMID: 12619079.

Pucilowska JB, McNaughton KK, Mohapatra NK, Hoyt EC, Zimmermann EM, Sartor RB, Lund PK. IGF-I and procollagen alpha1(I) are coexpressed in a subset of mesenchymal cells in active Crohn's disease. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2000 Dec;279(6):G1307-22. PubMed PMID:11093955.