The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 351–362 | Cite as

Fluorescence fading in quantitative fluorescence microscopy: a cytofluorometer for the automatic recording of fluorescence peaks of very short duration

  • Lennart Enerbäck
  • Karl-Axel Johansson


Rates of photodecomposition were studied in some fluorophores during short (milliseconds) and longer (minutes) illumination periods. A xenon burner served as light source, and care was taken to obtain optimum conditions for activation. The fluorophores studied included (i) the formaldehyde-induced fluorescent product from 5-hydroxytryptamine in mast cells, (ii) Berberine sulphate bound to mast cell polyanions, (iii) Feulgen-Pararosaniline-stained DNA, and (iv) Fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated IgG in an antinuclear factor test. All fluorophores showed a significant fading during 3 min illumination. The Fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugate faded the most rapidly; its fluorescence intensity was reduced to 50% of the initial value after 2 sec continuous illumination. No fluorophore faded significantly during the initial few milliseconds of illumination. On the basis of these findings, an inexpensive measuring device was constructed. It contained a peak-reader and memory circuit triggered by the flash synchronization tap of a camera shutter positioned in the activation beam. The peak-reader has a response time of about 2 msec. Repeated measurements on the various fluorophores indicate that this peak-reading device may be used to measure fluorescence intensity without fading.


Mast Cell Xenon Berberine Fluorescence Peak Continuous Illumination 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lennart Enerbäck
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karl-Axel Johansson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology IIUniversity of LinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of GöteborgSweden

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