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Enzyme histochemistry and its application in the study of neoplasms. By M. S. Burstone. 1962. 621 pages 127 figures 37 tables 38 charts. $22.50. Academic Press New York

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Book Review
ENZYME HISTOCHEMISTRY and its Application in the Study of Neoplasms.
By M. S. I3urstone. 1962. 621 pages,
127 figures, 37 tables, 38 charts.
$22.50. Academic Press, New York.
Doctor Burstone has been with the
United States Public Health Service since
1952 as a Senior Dental Surgeon. In
1958, when associated with the histology
and pathology laboratory of the National
Institute of Dental Research, he contributed to a symposium on “Calcification in
Biological Systems.” The title of his paper
was “Hydrolytic Enzymes in Dentinogenesis and Osteogenesis.” A conference was
held in 1959 on “The Metabolism of Oral
Tissues” at which time Doctor Burstone
reported on “Histochemical observations
on enzymatic processes in bones and
teeth.” At the First International Congress
of Histocheniistry and Cytochemistry in
1960, Doctor Burstone presented a paper
dealing with azo-dye and naphtholic fluorescence techniques for the demonstration of phosphatases. These accomplishments in addition to the fact that the
author’s name appears in 75 references
throughout the book substantiates his
qualifications for presenting material on
enzyme histochemistry.
The first four chapters of this book deal
with fixation and embedding techniques,
chemical derivatives as the basis of histochemical reagents, diazo coupling and
dyes employed in the histochemical localization of enzymes. The following eight
chapters cover specific enzyme systems
and the last four chapters present histochemical material as related to electron
microscopy, electrophoresis, carcinostatic
agents and the composition of buffers. A n
author index which contains 1,794 names
and a subject index constructed mainly
by sublisting items under the chapter
headings, which are arranged alphabetically, conclude the book.
Throughout its many pages, figures,
tables and charts abound. Figures, totalling 127 in all, some in color, present
histochemical staining reactions ; tables,
ANAT. REC., 150: 503-504.
totalling 37 in all, mainly list substrates,
types of enzymes within a given system or
commercially available compounds and
their reactions or uses; and charts, totalling 38 in all, illustrate biochemical compounds or reactilons, with structural formulas, metabolic schemes and all.
In general, the format of each chapter
dealing with an enzyme system includes
a brief introduction followed in order by
consideration of various substrates, synthetic approaches, histochemical methods,
activators and inhibitors and a relationship, if any, to neoplasms. At the end of
the chapter is an appendix conveniently
divided into two parts, A which includes
specific laboratory procedures for the synthesis of various substrates and related
compounds and 13 which outlines methods
and laboratory procedures for microscopic
demonstration of enzymes.
The appendices are a good, usable part
of the book for tlhe practical histochemist.
The listed commr:rcial sources for the purchase of reagents included in the appendices are helpful to the beginner as well
as the experienced. Any one should be
able to easily prepare a given buffer by
combining the stock solutions whose composition and proportions are clearly given
in the chapter on buffers. The photomicrographs illustrating a particular enzyme reaction in a particular tissue are excellent
for checking one’s own work and the tables
serve as excellent source material.
The text, however, is heavy, detailed
reading which may appeal to the research
chemist seeking a new reaction to explore
or to a librarian seeking an all inclusive
bibliography on a chemically derived dye.
Chemical reactions that have potential,
but no practical use at present, are dealt
with in detail. Many structural formulas
depict chemical groupings. Bibliographically speaking there is a total of 1,899
references with the chapter on phosphatases alone containing 470 of these. The
subject index is complete but may present
difficulties at first due to its arrangement.
This would be especially true if one is not
fairly well acquainted with the field of
histochemistry. All in all, this book is not
designed for a novice in the field.
The relatively experienced histochemist,
the pathologist, and the organic chemist,
particularly interested in dyestuff chemistry will find this book interesting and
useful. Enzyme histochemistry aids in
interpreting the metabolic machinery
under study in the field of molecular biology. Altered biochemical systems in tissues and cells which are not discernible
with routine non-specific stains are now
detectable histochemically .
Important applications of enzyme histochemistry lie in the study of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, enzyme systems in
tumors, radiation biology, exobiology and
diseases of the muscular, skeletal and
nervous systems. In the text, the author
gives the chemical background of reactions and cites their potential value in
these applications. In the appendices, figures, and tables the author gives us something we can use today.
Louisiana State University
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