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J Histochem Cytochem. 1979 Jan;27(1):102-13.

Mass action and acridine orange staining: static and flow cytofluorometry.


We present results involving an approach to acridine orange staining of intact cells based on basic physicochemical considerations. We show by static microfluorometry of several in vitro and in vivo cell lines that the important parameters for such staining are the molar ratio (Formula: see text), and molar concentration of acridine orange. Differential nuclear DNA and cytoplasmic RNA staining are totally controlled by these two parameters. We show this by a physicochemical model of cell-dye interaction. Finally, we use the method to study the growth parameters of complex in vivo cell populations by automated multiparameter flow microfluorometry. We have explored also, both by static and flow systems, the effect on AO-cell staining of various cell pretreatments such as Triton X-100 and chelating agents.

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