Re: McNeal Tetrachrome

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

The original paper is by WJ MacNeal, 1925 J. Infect. Dis.
I've not seen it myself. I'm quoting it from the new 10th edition
Conn's Biological Stains, Chapter 21: Romanowsky-Giemsa Stains,
D.H.Wittekind. The book gives the complete citstion.

MacNeal's stain is a complex mixture of dyes, of variable 
composition because of the way it is made. You should make up 
the staining solution from a batch of powder certified by the 
Biological Stain Commission (BSC).

If you visit the Commission's web site,
you can click on the "Certified dyes" link, and then follow links
to find a vendor for recently certified batch of the dye you

I've just done this, and found that there has not been a
certified since 1997 (the earliest year in the archive). You will
therefore need to go to one of your university's libraries and
in issues of Biotechnic & Histochemistry before 1998. At the end
every issue there is a list of recently certified dyes, with
vendors. If necessary you may need to look in Stain Technology,
which was the name of the Commission's journal before 1991. (The
volume numbers are contiguous.)  An old certified MacNeal's will
almost certainly work well. Research in the BSC's lab, some of it
already published in B&H, shows that there is little
in many (not all!) dye powders after many years of storage.

If you buy a pre-made solution called MacNeal's stain, you should
ask the supplier if it was made from a certified powder or by
individual dyes. If it was made by mixing different dyes, were
the components certified by the BSC?  All the component dyes of 
blood stains are available as certified stains.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1

"K. Bowden" wrote:
> I have a protocol for Mc Neal's tetrachrome stain, it is from the lab of
> Dr. Robert Schenk of Bern Switzerland but I don't have a published
> reference that I can give to my boss.  Can anyone give me a reference
> for the McNeal stain?
> Karen Bowden
> University of CA, San Diego
> Orthopedic Department
> La Jolla, CA  92093

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