Toluidine blue stain

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Toluidine blue stain in a vasculitic peripheral neuropathy.

Toluidine blue is a basic thiazine metachromatic dye with high affinity for acidic tissue components.[1]

It stains nucleic acids blue and polysaccharides purple and also increases the sharpness of histology slide images. It is especially useful today for staining chromosomes in plant or animal tissues, as a replacement for Aceto-orcein stain.


The results depend on the studied organs:[2]

- Mastocytes in purple

- Cartilage in purple

- Mucins in purple/red

- Nuclei in blue

It is used in forensic examination,[3] renal pathology[4] and neuropathology.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sridharan, G; Shankar, AA (2012). "Toluidine blue: A review of its chemistry and clinical utility". J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 16: 251–5. doi:10.4103/0973-029X.99081. PMC 3424943Freely accessible. PMID 22923899. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Olshaker, Jackson and Smock (2001). Forensic Emergency Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Williams. pp. 94–97. ISBN 0781731445. 
  4. ^ Nicholas, SB.; Basgen, JM.; Sinha, S. (2011). "Using stereologic techniques for podocyte counting in the mouse: shifting the paradigm". Am J Nephrol. 33 Suppl 1: 1–7. doi:10.1159/000327564. PMC 3121548Freely accessible. PMID 21659728. 

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