[Histonet] Nissl staining question: ignorant question from an ignorant person

Geoff McAuliffe mcauliff <@t> umdnj.edu
Fri Dec 7 13:13:01 CST 2007

HI Sharon:

1. Crystal violet does not enjoy wide use in pathology. However, you can 
use it any way you want.
2. Toluidine blue is a good Nissl stain but cresyl violet is more common.
3. Cresyl violet is more common, I suppose most prefer the violet color 
to blue. Cresyl violet gives better contrast with Luxol fast blue and I 
think cresyl violet is easier to differentiate with alcohols.
4. Probably.


Are getting crystal violet and cresyl violet confused?

Sharon wrote:
> Dear Histonetters,
> I have some questions about Nissl staining - (I have looked these 
> issues up in histology texts but am still confused because I have 
> received contradictory information - please clarify)
> Here are my ridiculous questions:
> 1.  Is crystal violet ever used to stain epon embedded tissue for 
> pathology?  (I don't think so)
> 2.  Is toluidine blue used as a Nissl stain? (I think so)
> 3.  Are there advantages to Nissl staining with Cresyl Violet vs. 
> Toluidine blue? (when you are just looking for pathology with no other 
> stain - eg. not using the Toluidine blue or Cresyl Violet as a counter 
> stain for some other stain).
> 4. Is Cresyl Violet used for anything other than a Nissl stain in brain?
> Thanks for your indulgence.
> Sharon
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Geoff McAuliffe, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
voice: (732)-235-4583 
mcauliff <@t> umdnj.edu

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