Alcian blue stain


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Alcian blue stain

Alcian blue stains acid mucosubstances and acetic mucins. Excessive amounts of non-sulfated acidic mucosubstances are seen in mesotheliomas, certain amounts occur normally in blood vessel walls but increase in early lesions of atherosclerosis. Strongly acidic mucosubstances will be stained blue, nuclei will be stained pink to red, and cytoplasm will be stained pale pink.

​Fixation: formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissue sections.

1)Deparaffinize slides and hydrate to distilled water.
2)Stain in Alcian blue solution for 30 minutes.
3)Wash in running tap water for 2 minutes.
4)Rinse in distilled water.
5)Counterstain in nuclear fast red solution for 5 minutes.
6)Wash in running tap water for 1 minute.
7)Dehydrate and through 95% alcohol, 2 changes of absolute alcohol, 3 minutes each.
8)Clear in xylene or xylene substitute.
9)Mount with resinous mounting medium.


1) Strongly acidic sulfated mucosubstances: blue
2) Nuclei: pink to red
3) Cytoplasm: pale pink  

Leica ST5020 Autostainer w/ CV5030 Slide Coverslipper & TS5025 Transfer Station