RE: Antimony staining

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From:"Kellar, Eric" <kellarec@MSX.UPMC.EDU>
To:"' '" <>, 'Jane Radford ' <>

Antimony compounds were well known in ancient times, and the element itself
was probably discovered by the German alchemist Basil Valentine (b. 1414?)
about 1450. It was certainly known by about 1600, but was confused with
other elements, such as bismuth, tin, and lead. Antimony generally shows the
properties of a metal, but sometimes shows those of a nonmetal and was
important to the alchemist of that time. It exists in several allotropic
forms (distinctly different physical forms), the most common of which is
metallic in appearance. It is a brittle, lustrous metalloid. Most antimony,
like arsenic and bismuth, occur in nature in the form of sulfide minerals.
Mined antimony is obtained from the sulfide ore - stibnite, hence is given
the symbol Sb. It is sometimes found in minor amounts in ores of various
metals, such as: copper, lead, silver, and mercury. 3/4 or more of the
world's mined antimony is produced in China and was used widely in metal
working and in eye make-up. Native antimony is nearly indistinguishable from
native arsenic. However, the garlic odor which is sometimes found on arsenic
specimens is not a characteristic of antimony and it does not tarnish as
quickly or as severely as arsenic. 

9-Phenyl-2,3,7-trihydroxy-6-fluorone at pH 4 gives a red staining
precipitate with Sb(III) and Sb(V) at high dilutions. Buffered solutions
yield dark violet staining in a saturated 90% ethanol solution; slightly
acidified to pH 4 with HCL or H2SO4 which reacts within a few seconds. This
reaction although not popular appears reasonably specific, but the results
are often variable on FFPE tissue.

Lillie, R.D., Fullmer, H.M.: Histopathologic Technic and Practical
Histochemistry, McGraw Hill, 1976.

Eric C. Kellar

From: 	Jane Radford[]
Sent: 	Thursday, July 06, 2000 7:11 PM
Subject: 	Antimony staining

Dear Histonet,
Would anyone be able to help us with a method for staining antimony 
in paraffin sections of lymph node?
Thank you in advance,

Jane Radford
Jane Radford
Technical Officer
Department of Pathology
University of Sydney
NSW Australia
Ph: 61 2 9351 6152

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