Histochemical and immunocytochemical methods to demonstrate copper, copper‐associated protein, lipfuscin, and metallothionein were applied to the liver of fetal and neonatal rats (mid‐term, pre‐term, and 1,3, and 7 days post‐natal). Copper was detected only at 1 and 7 days post‐natal. No copper‐associated protein was found in any liver examined. Lipofuscin granules were present around term in small numbers but were most abundant at 7 days post‐natal when the majority of them were also positive for copper. Metallothionein staining, both nuclear and cytoplasmic, was maximal at mid‐term and becames less intense with maturity. Although nuclear staining was always present, cytoplasmic, staining varied between different areas of the liver. No marked difference in staining intensity was found between 3 and 7 days post‐natal. There are marked differences in copper metabolism in the maturing liver between the rat and man.
- copper‐associated protein
- fetal and neonatal rat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine