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Histochemistry. 1985;82(3):205-8.

Pontamine sky blue: a counterstain for background autofluorescence in fluorescence and immunofluorescence histochemistry.


The stain pontamine sky blue (PSB) has been shown to reduce background autofluorescence in catecholamine fluorescence and immunofluorescence histochemical preparations. Using PSB as a counterstain on whole-mount stretch preparations of human mesenteric blood vessels, a medium dense noradrenergic nerve plexus is clearly revealed, which previously had been only partially visible because of background autofluorescence. Image analysis of nerve densities in whole-mount stretch preparations of guinea-pig arteries containing noradrenergic, substance P-, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-positive nerve plexuses shows that PSB staining does not alter the specific neuronal fluorescence and that it improves image definition.

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