Re: Alcian Blue stain (longish)

From:Melissa Jensen

Thanks for the info! I didn't post the original question,but was very
----- Original Message -----
From: "J. A. Kiernan" 
To: "Histonet" 
Cc: "Roy Ellis" ; "Laurie Colbert"

Sent: Monday, August 05, 2002 12:19 AM
Subject: Re: Alcian Blue stain (longish)

> > > Laurie Colbert [] wrote:
> > > Does anyone know if (and how) I can decolorize an alcian blue
> > > stain so that I can restain H&E?
> You should not need to decolorize alcian blue because
> it generally stains things that are not stained by
> either haemalum or eosin, and the turquoise colour of
> alcian blue is unlikely to be confused with the blue
> of haemalum or the purply-blue of haemalum followed
> by eosin. _____
> That said - the turquoisy-blue deposits in a section
> stained with alcian blue 8G (CI 74240, Ingrain blue 1)
> are of copper phthalocyanine (CI 74160, Pigment blue 16),
> formed when the soluble alcian blue stains anionic
> glycoproteins or proteoglycans. The pigment is one of
> the most stable of all coloured substances. It cannot be
> dissolved or bleached by any reagent that would not also
> destroy any biological tissue. (The Merck Index says
> it's soluble in 98% H2SO4, and also that it sublimes
> without decomposition at 580C.)
> Once a section is stained with alcian blue 8G the
> colour is there for keeps. That is one of the chief
> assets of this valuable stain. There are plenty of
> ways to stain other materials after using alcian
> blue, and you can be 100% confident that they won't
> extract any of the AB colour.
> This is quite a large subject - lots of published
> literature has to be agonized over very carefully
> before approaching a carbohydrate identification
> challenge histochemically. The technology is well
> advanced but largely unexploited. It was developed to
> identify the levels of origin of mucus-secreting
> tumours in the human gut, but there are many other
> potential applications.
> --
> -------------------------
> John A. Kiernan
> Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
> The University of Western Ontario
> London,   Canada   N6A 5C1

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