Histological Staining Techniques

Alcian blue/safranine for mast cell differentiation
Csaba, 1969.
  • Dewax sections, rinse in alcohol, rinse in water.
  • Stain in alcian blue/safranine solution - 15 minutes.
  • Rinse in tap water.
  • Dehydrate in tertiary butyl alcohol (2-methylpropan-2-ol).
  • Clear and mount.


Mast cells containing biogenic amines - blue.
Mast cells containing heparin - red.

Alcian blue/safranine solution
Alcian blue 8GX - 900mgs
Safranine O - 45mgs
Ferric ammonium sulphate - 1.2g
Acetate buffer (pH1.42) - 250mls.

For the buffer:
A. Dissolve 13.6g sodium acetate (mol. wt.136) in 100ml of distilled water.
B. Add 8.5ml of concentrated hydrochloric acid to 91.5ml distilled water.
Mix 50ml of solution A. with 62ml of solution B. and make up to 250ml with distilled water.
Adjust the pH to 1.42 with 1% hydrochloric acid or 1% sodium hydroxide.

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