From:"J. A. Kiernan" <>

On Tue, 19 Jun 2001, Laurence Reilly wrote:

> Can anyone tell me if it is possible to demonstrate adenosine triphosphate
> (ATP) in tissue sections. The texts give methods to show the enzyme ATPase,
> but I was asked specifically about staining ATP itself.

ATP is very soluble and it also decomposes by itself, so
there's no possibility of detecting it in sections (except
conceivably of unfixed tissue that has been rapidly frozen and
then never allowed to thaw). It is possible to demonstrate 
release of ATP from cells of living tissue using the
luciferin-luciferase reaction, which consumes ATP and 
generates light. I recall that the published micrographs
were pretty poor. If you really think this is what's needed
let me know, and I'll try to find more information.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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