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Vet Pathol. 2009 Mar;46(2):325-8. doi: 10.1354/vp.46-2-325.

Alcian Blue and Pyronine Y histochemical stains permit assessment of multiple parameters in pulmonary disease models.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 145 Medical Research Center, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Utilization of a combined Alcian Blue and Pyronine Y histochemical method for the assessment of multiple parameters in the respiratory tract of various species is described. Acidic mucins were deep blue (sialylated mucins), red (sulfated mucins), or variably purple (mixture of sialylated/sulfated mucins), and differential mucus production was readily detected in a murine respiratory syncytial virus vaccine model of pulmonary inflammation. Elastic fibers stained red in the walls of pulmonary arteries, connecting airways, alveolar septa, and subpleural interstitium. Mast cells had red to red-purple granular cytoplasmic staining. Nuclei were ubiquitously counterstained pale blue. Representative staining was detected in tissues from multiple species, including inbred mice, rats, ferrets, cats, dogs, sheep, and pigs. The fluorescent property of the stained tissues offers additional modalities with which to analyze tissue sections. This histochemical technique detects multiple critical parameters in routine paraffin sections of lung tissue, reduces the need for repeated serial sectioning and staining, and is cost-effective and simple to perform.

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