, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 221–225

Fluorescence microscopy of viable mast cells stained with different concentrations of acridine orange


  • L. D. Love
    • Department of Dental MaterialsTemple University, School of Dentistry

DOI: 10.1007/BF00493322

Cite this article as:
Love, L.D. Histochemistry (1979) 62: 221. doi:10.1007/BF00493322


Freshly harvested rat peritoneal mast cells were stained with different concentrations of acridine orange, a metachromatic fluorochrome known to form complexes with chromatin and mucopolysaccharides. Fluorescence metachromasia was observed in cytoplasmic granules in cell populations with intracellular dye contents as low as 5×10−16 mole per cell, one-half decade lower than required to produce metachromatic staining of the nucleus. Cytoplasmic granules did not stain uniformly throughout the cell; some granules exhibited red fluorescence and others green. As the amount of acridine orange uptake per cell was increased, cytoplasmic fluorescence became uniformly red and nuclear fluorescence gradually changed from green to yellow.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979