Rodent Histopathology Core

The Rodent Histopathology Core provides technical, professional, and educational services on non-human, primarily rodent tissues. The Core offers high-quality mouse dissection, tissue processing, slide preparation from paraffin-embedded and frozen tissues, routine and specialized histological staining, and expert interpretation of slides. The ultimate goal of the Core is to support investigator research that leads to the identification of pathologic processes in non-human models that can be directly translatable to human disease.

Key Services

Technical Services Offered:

  • Whole Mouse Necropsy
  • Tissue Trimming and Cassetting
  • Tissue Processing and Embedding
  • Paraffin and Frozen Sectioning
  • Conventional Staining
  • Specialty Histological Staining
    • -Bacteria, Fungi, and Inclusion Bodies
    • -Carbohydrate and Mucoproteins
    • -Connective Tissue and Muscle
    • -Cytoplasmic Granules
    • -Fats and Lipids
    • -Hematologic and Nuclear Elements
    • -Nerve Cells and Fibers
    • -Pigments and Minerals

Educational Services Offered:

  • One-on-one Slide Review
  • Study Design and Consultation
  • Hands-on Training in Histological Techniques
  • Workshops
  • Pathologist Trainee Program

For more information on services go to: https://pathcore.hms.harvard.edu/catalog/.

Highlighted Projects

Project Title: ETV1 directs androgen metabolism and confers aggressive prostate cancer in targeted mice and patients
Principal Investigators:
 Stuart Orkin, MD (DFCI) and Zhe Li, PhD (BWH)
Description of the Project:
 Chromosomal rearrangements involving ETS transcription factors, such as ERG and ETV1, occur frequently in prostate cancer. Here we show that in mice with ERG or ETV1 targeted to the endogenous Tmprss2 locus, either factor cooperated with loss of a single copy of Pten, leading to localized cancer, but only ETV1 appeared to support development of invasive adenocarcinoma under the background of full Pten loss. Genes Dev. 27:683-698, 2013. PMID: 23512661.
Contribution of the Core: 
Slide interpretation and histopathological interpretation.

Project Title: 
The RasGAP Gene, RASAL2, is a tumor and metastasis suppressor
Principal Investigators:
 Karen Cichowski, PhD (BWH)
Description of the Project:
 RAS genes are commonly mutated in cancer; however, RAS mutations are rare in breast cancer, despite frequent hyperactivation of Ras and ERK. Here, we report that the RasGAP gene, RASAL2, functions as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in the MMTV mouse model of breast cancer. Cancer Cell. 2013 Sep 9;24(3):365-78. PMID: 24029233.
Contribution of the Core: 
Slide interpretation and histopathological interpretation.

Project Title:
 Spatially distinct roles of class 1a PI3K isoforms in the development and maintenance of PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome
Principal Investigator:
 Jean Zhao, PhD (DFCI)
Description of the Project:
Using both genetically engineered mouse models and pharmacological PI3K isoform-selective inhibitors, we demonstrate that combined inhibition of two PI3K isoforms prevents the development of PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome, and also reverses skin hamartomas that have reached advanced stages in mice. Genes Dev. 2013 Jul 15;27(14):1568-80. PMID: 23873941.
Contribution of the Core: 
Slide interpretation and histopathological interpretation.


Publication Acknowledgement:

If research supported by this core facility results in publication, please acknowledge this support by including the following in your publication(s):
"We thank Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, MA, for the use of the Rodent Histopathology Core, which provided __________ service. Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center is supported in part by a NCI Cancer Center Support Grant # NIH 5 P30 CA06516."