Histochemie

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 73–85

The chemical and histochemical properties of Alcian Blue

I. The mechanism of Alcian Blue staining

Authors

  • J. E. Scott
    • M.R.C. Rheumatism Research UnitCanadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital
    • University of Alabama Medical Center
  • G. Quintarelli
    • M.R.C. Rheumatism Research UnitCanadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital
    • University of Alabama Medical Center
  • M. C. Dellovo
    • M.R.C. Rheumatism Research UnitCanadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital
    • University of Alabama Medical Center
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00306149

Cite this article as:
Scott, J.E., Quintarelli, G. & Dellovo, M.C. Histochemie (1964) 4: 73. doi:10.1007/BF00306149

Summary

Alcian Blues are a family of polyvalent basic dyes, with at least two, and up to four isothiouronium groups per copper phthalocyanine ring. The isothiouronium group is a little more basic than ammonia but not so basic as caustic soda. Alcian Blues react with polyanions such as heparin, DNA and hyaluronate in aqueous solution, to give insoluble precipitates, in which the two reactants are bound electrostatically, in a “salt link”. The combination of model compounds containing isothiouronium groups with a range of biological polyanions showed that there was no unusual specificity in this combination.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1964