Re: LFB (L:uxol dyes)

From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

On Tue, 26 Jun 2001, Jill Songer wrote:
> I am having a hard time locating Luxol Fast Blue powder. Could someone 
> share their source or, if it is unavailable, what are you using for a sub?

There are at least 3 luxol fast blues: ARN, G and M**
(where * and * are letters that may or may not be
included in a name). There are also different techniques
for using these dyes. None are available as "certified"

The luxol fast blue saga is a story of simple neuropathologists,
know-it-all but gullible histochemists (one of them a Great
Name in the fied), clever dye chemists, devious businessmen and 
a few smart academic characters who almost sorted out why three 
chemically different blue solvent dyes with the Luxol trademark 
would stain myelin in paraffin sections.

There are better and quicker stains for myelin in paraffin
sections than the ones using luxol fast blues. Some make use
of haematoxylin; others use eriochrome cyanine R (= solochrome
cyanine R = chromoxane cyanine R = CI 43820; Mordant blue 3).
With the latter dye, which is cheaper than haematoxylin, the
original method of K.Page (1965) J Med Lab Tech 22:224-225 is
excellent, and there are several published variants of her
procedure. The same dye can be used in a blue nuclear stain
that is probably the best of the many alternatives to 
alum-haematoxylins. (Bryan Llewellyn 1974 Stain Technol
49:347-349 and 1978 Stain Technol 53:73-77, and publications
by several other people in the late '70s and early '80s;
ask if you need more information).
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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