Morphology Core

Director: Maria Isabel Fiel, MD

The objective of the Morphology Core is to support the projects of the Mount Sinai Alcoholic Liver Disease Research Center for the with high-quality and specialized morphological services while achieving net cost effectiveness. The services to be offered are classified into four categories:

1. Standard staining of sections following paraffin embedding of tissues (e.g. hematoxylin and eosin, Sirius red or Masson trichrome for collagen);

2. Immunohistochemical staining for fixed or frozen sections using different primary antibodies and probes (e.g. CDc37, Hsp 90, ROS species, KLF6, CYP2E1, among others) in alcoholic liver injury;

3. image and morphometric analysis to provide standardized quantitative data;

4. tissue microarray.

In addition, the Morphology Core can provide electron microscopic examination of tissue to identify ultrastructural alterations of cells. Standard and special staining procedures are carried out on samples after preparation of frozen sections, fixation and embedding, cutting, and mounting on slides.

Morphometric/image analysis is performed for quantification of histologic assessment, immunostained proteins or cells by digital imaging analysis using a digital camera, Nikon Coolscope, and captured by a Samba imaging system equipped with a compaq center computer embedded with a Matrox IM-640 imaging board connected to input components including a Zeiss Axioskop microscope and a Hamamatsu 3CCD camera. Quality control is maintained at the Morphology Core site in the Department of Pathology at The Mount Sinai Health System, which is inspected annually and certified by the College of American Pathology.

Models Core

Co-Directors: Kirsten Sadler-Edepli, PhD, and Natalia Nieto, PhD
In vivo rodent models and in vitro cell culture models are central to studying alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Several investigators at MSSM have made significant contributions to the field using these models (see section V). A core facility which allows the expertise and the material from these cell culture and rodent models to be made available to the wider MSSM community will be an essential resource for groups studying the effects of alcohol on the liver. To complement these well-established and useful systems, new models, enabling novel approaches to studying the genetics and pathophysiology of ALD are sought. Zebrafish are renowned as a genetically tractable vertebrate system for studying embryonic development and for modeling disease. A major advantage to using zebrafish is that large numbers of embryos - hundreds to thousands on a given day - can be generated and treated with alcohol in a cost-effective and rapid manner. A state-of-the art zebrafish facility has been established at MSSM and is being used to develop genetic models of liver disease. Thus, the zebrafish component of the Models Core represents a new direction in ALD research, and including it as a core facility will enable researchers with little or no zebrafish experience to use this novel system. The combination of in vitro and in vivo resources provided by the two components of this core provide a unique environment in which to study several aspects of alcohol-generated oxidative stress liver injury.