The silver impregnation stain is a key method of identifying basement membranes in human tissue, and its application in renal pathology is nearly universal. Notice in this image (Fig 1) how clearly demonstrating the capillary basement membrane using the silver stain allows one to distinguish cells within the capillary lumens from those “extracapillary” cells which are forming the glomerular crescent. In 1951, David B. Jones, MD, reported the development of a periodic acid silver reaction adapted specifically for the kidney which better highlighted basement membranes (American Journal of Pathology, Dec 1951: 991-1009). Most renal pathologists still rely heavily on the Jones stain in their daily diagnostic pathology practice and are grateful to the many contributions made by Dr. Jones to the field of renal pathology (Fig 2).
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