The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 471–485 | Cite as

Tetrazolium salts: a consumer's guide

  • F. P. Altman


The purities of seven tetrazolium salts, obtained from various commercial sources, have been assessed by thin layer chromatography, relative extinction coefficients, and melting points. MTT and INT were largely homogeneous on thin layer chromatography, although significant variations occurred in the melting point behaviour. All the samples of TT examined were contaminated to a small extent with non-tetrazolium u.v.-absorbing material. TNBT and NBT were contaminated with small amounts of mono-tetrazolium salts, although one sample of each was heavily contaminated with another di-tetrazolium compound. Four samples of TNBT contained high melting point contaminants. BT was also contaminated with mono-tetrazolium salts, and some samples also contained di-tetrazolium salt contaminants. NT was the most heavily contaminated of all, most samples containing no less than five separate tetrazolium compounds. Prices varied widely, and in general were not related to purity. Some catalogue entries were very easy to find; others were more difficult. Few specifications were given; of these, most were arbitrary (for example, pure, grade I, and ... probably the finest INT offered anywhere).


Melting Point Significant Variation Thin Layer Chromatography Extinction Coefficient Tetrazolium 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. P. Altman
    • 1
  1. 1.Professorial Research UnitInstitute of OrthopaedicsStanmoreUK

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