Re: Mast cells/Bismarck Brown

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From:"Tony Henwood" <>
To:HistoNet Server <>, "A G DU TOIT" <AGDT@GERGA.SUN.AC.ZA>
Date:Wed, 15 Sep 1999 23:15:35 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Dear Andre,

> I am looking for a stain specifically for Mast cells.  We have been 
> doing the Bismarck Brown for some time, but unfortunately no 
> literature available.  Surely somebody might just be able to help.
> Thanks a million in advance, I am looking forward to hear from all of 
> you.
Most Mast cells stain metachromatically, so a toluidine blue (0.1% 
aqueous) will do the trick. Allow stained sections to air dry prior 
to coverllipping (ie no alcohol). Churukian has a marvelous technique 
that was published some time ago in J Histotechnology.

Aqueous alcian blue (1% in 0.5% HCl) (pH 1) will also stain them. 
This is mainly due to their being rich in heparin sulphate. Try one 
of the Sigma dyes - they tend to  dissolve better at this pH.

My histonet summaries contain a page on Mast cell controls which may 
be of use.
Regards, Tony
Tony Henwood
Senior Scientist
Anatomical Pathology
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

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