[Histonet] Alcian Blue staining

John Kiernan jkiernan at uwo.ca
Sat Oct 10 12:32:00 CDT 2020

Pink with alcian blue?  Are you using an alcian blue pH2.5-PAS sequence?  If so you should get PAS-positive mucus (not in goblet cells) in the stomach and AB-positive mucus (greenish blue) in the intestine. Intestinal mucus, especially in the duodenum and jejunum, is also PAS +ve, so the cells appear purplish.  In the colon the mucus is mostly sulphated rather than sialylated, so it is only AB +ve, even if the stain is done at pH 1.

If a PAS stain is done before the AB, PAS +ve mucus also stains quite strongly with AB. For more about this, see Johannes ML & Klessen C (1984) Alcianblue/PAS or PAS/alcianblue. Remarks on a classical technic used in carbohydrate histochemistry. Histochemistry 80: 129-132. (Unfortunately the paper has only black & white photos.)

Various dyes are currently sold as "alcian blue" and not all are suitable for all applications. The Biological Stain Commission now certifies alcian blue dyes as either "alcian blue 8G or equivalent" or as "alcian blue variant".  See the recently updated (2020) entry for Alcian blue 8G (CI 74240) and other alcian blue dyes at   https://biologicalstaincommission.org/new-dyes/.
Current issues of interest to vendors and users of dyes and biological stains. | The Biological Stain Commission<https://biologicalstaincommission.org/new-dyes/>
Dyes are becoming more expensive! January 2018. BASF, a major dyestuff manufacturing company, recently announced that it has increased its prices for many pigments and dyes by up to 15% worldwide.
John Kiernan
Secretary. Biological Stain Commission
= = =
From: Charles Riley via Histonet <histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
Sent: October 9, 2020 10:14 AM
To: histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu <histonet at lists.utsouthwestern.edu>
Subject: [Histonet] Alcian Blue staining

We are having an issue where the goblet cells in our control tissue are not staining pink even though the patient tissue is staining beautifully on the same slide.

The stain is done manually.  What can be some causes for the issues in staining on the control section?
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