Re: Spermatozoa stains (New and other fuchsines)

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From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>
To:Roberta Horner <>
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Roberta Horner wrote:

> Does anyone have a procedure for a stain for spermatozoa?  Or could someone
> tell me if new fuchsin is also known by another name? I  have Berg's method
> but it uses new fuchsin.  I need this as soon as possible for a ram sale.

  New fuchsine is one of the dyes that compose basic fuchsine. The
  others are pararosaniline, rosaniline and magenta II. Of these,
  only pararosaniline and new fuchsine are commercially available
  as single "pure" dyes. 

  For most purposes it doesn't matter if you use one of the pure 
  dyes or a mixture. For the aldehyde-fuchsine stain you must use 
  pararosaniline or a basic fuchsine that is mostly pararosaniline
  (Mowry & Emmel 1977 J Histochem Cytochem 25:239). The only other
  methods I know about for which a single dye is advisable (possibly
  necessary) are those for which you make a diazonium salt for use 
  in esterase or peptidase enzyme activity histochemistry (hexazonium
  pararosaniline or hexa-azotized new fuchsine).

  Both basic fuchsine and pararosaniline are available as certified
  dyes. New fuchsine (CI 42520) is not certified as such. A dye
  certified as basic fuchsine could contain only pararosaniline or
  new fuchsine, or it could be a mixture of 2, 3 or all 4 dyes (often
  with a high percentage of rosaniline). Rosaniline (C.I. 42510) and
  magenta II (has no C.I. number) can be made only by separation
  from mixtures, which isn't commercially worthwhile. They are not
  sold as single dyes because there would be no known use for them.

  In this email I have used -ine rather than -in endings for the
  names of the dyes because this is the chemically correct spelling
  in English, and is used worldwide in the literature of dyes.
  Most catalogues still use fuchsin, pararosanilin etc., following
  an older (50 yrs +) tradition in which these dyes were derivatives 
  of the German "Anilin" rather than the English/French/US "aniline."
  Amines have ended in -ine for a century or more in the English

  The -in ending is used for substances that are _not_ derived from
  organic bases (amines).  Eosin, erythrosin and haematoxylin are
  good examples.  So are dextrin and insulin.  

  Sorry if this doesn't tell you how to stain spermatozoa. Someone
  else is sure to do that. This should put you & others in the
  picture about the various basic fuchsine dyes. 

 John A. Kiernan,
 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
 The University of Western Ontario,
 LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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