Histotechnology Technical methods

Stain for Melanin

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4µm paraffin wax sections


1. Silver Solution

Add strong ammonia (0.88%) dropwise to 20cm3 of 10% silver nitrate until only a slight precipitate remains. Add 20cm3 of distilled water. Prepare fresh each time used.

2. 0.2% Gold Chloride

3. 5% Sodium Thiosulphate ("hypo")

4. 0.1% Nuclear Fast Red


  1. Take sections to water
  2. Treat with silver solution at 56[ring]C for 20-60 minutes. Checking microscopically for brown positive staining. Also place a coplin jar of distilled water in the 56C oven so that the sections can be washed before checking microscopically for positively.
  3. Wash well in distilled water
  4. Place slides in 0.2% gold chloride for 5 minutes
  5. Wash well in water
  6. Fix the slides in 5% sodium thiosulphate for 5 minutes
  7. Wash in water and counterstain in 0.1% nuclear fast red for 5 minutes
  8. Dehydrate, clear . Mount sections in DPX


  • Melanin/Argentaffin granules - Black
  • Background and Nuclei - Red

NOTE: No responsibility is assumed by The University of Nottingham or the Queens Medical Centre NHS Trust for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions or ideas contained in the material herein. It is the users responsibilty to ensure that all procedures are carried out according to appropriate Health and Safety requirements.

© Copyright 1997 University of Nottingham Medical School Division of Histopathology. This page was last built on Mon, May 5, 1997 with Frontier. Thanks for looking in. Comments to James.Lowe@nottingham.ac.uk