AW: Alcec Blue & mast cell staining

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From:"Nader, Alexander" <> (by way of histonet)
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unfortunately I didn't eceive the original mail from Jim Manavis, so I would
like to comment on Alcian blue staining for mast cells.
There's a not very well known method published by Csaba 1969 (Acta
biologicae academicae scientiarum hungaricae, 20, 205) on a double staining
technique for mast-cells using alcian blue and safranin. It can be found
also in Bancroft & Stevens book "Theory and Practice of Histological
Techniques". It is a pretty nice stain, showing mast-cells in two different
colours (depending on their granula) and we use it in combination with
immunohistochemistry for Tryptase (DAKO). I often wonder about the quantity
of mast-cells in BM-trephines shown by these two methods in comparison with
the routine Giemsa stain.

Dr. Alexander Nader
Path. Institut Hanuschkrankenhaus
A 1140 Wien, Oesterreich <>


> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: J. A. Kiernan []
> Gesendet am: Mittwoch, 05. Jänner 2000 18:08
> An: Jim Manavis
> Cc: Histonet
> Betreff: Re: Alcec Blue & mast cell staining
> On Wed, 5 Jan 2000, Jim Manavis wrote:
> > I am after some help looking for a discontinued product
> from Sigma-Aldridge
> > called Alcec Blue which is a histochemical stain being used for
> > discrimination of mast cells.
>   Alcec blue was (? still is) a substitute for alcian blue.
>   The name is a trademark of the Hoechst company for a dye
>   synthesized by JE Scott (J. Microsc. 119:373, 1980). A short
>   account is given by F. Green in the Sigma-Aldrich Handbook of
>   Stains, Dyes and Indicators (1991), p.69-70.
>   You should have no difficulty obtaining alcian blue. Sigma-Aldrich
>   also sell a "pyridine variant" of alcian blue, which may be more
>   stable than the original dye. For fairly selective staining of
>   mast cells, use a solution of the dye at pH 1.0. In fact, any
>   basic (cationic) dye used at pH 1 will stain mast cells and other
>   objects that contain sulphated carbohydrates. The advantage of
>   alcian blue is that it is not removed by subsequently applied
>   other stains or solvents.
>  John A. Kiernan,
>  Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology,
>  The University of Western Ontario,
>  LONDON,  Canada  N6A 5C1

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