[Histonet] Millon's/millions reagent

John Kiernan jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Fri Nov 14 13:07:40 CST 2008

Millon's reagent is used in a traditional test for proteins. It reacts with the side chain of tyrosine to form a coloured compound (red, pink, orange). All proteins contain tyrosine, so this is a stain for proteins in general. For histochemical use, JR Baker's modification is recommended: "The histochemical recognition of phenols, especially tyrosine" in Quart. J. Microsc. Sci. 97: 161-164 (1956). This paper can be freely downloaded from the internet:  http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/s3-97/38/161  The instructions are more detailed than those given for Millon's method in most techniques books.
Be careful! Millon's reagent contains 10% mercuric sulphate. concentrated sulphuric acid is also needed, and the solution has to be boiled.  
Those of us who were schoolboys in an earlier age will remember putting copper coins into Millon's reagent. They quickly became plated with mercury, and resembled silver coins.
John Kiernan
Anatomy, UWO 
London, Canada.
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----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Lloyd <lloyd.3 <@t> osu.edu>
Date: Friday, November 14, 2008 13:06
Subject: [Histonet] Millon's/millions reagent
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu

> Does anyone in histoland know anything about Millons/millions reagent
> for Tyrosine granules.  My pathologist is asking for this 
> technique.Thanks Mary Lloyd
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