staining of apoptotic cells

Dra. Elisa Bal de Kier-Joffe elisa at
Mon Nov 6 14:46:34 EST 1995

Dear netters:
We are using Acridine Orange (AO) to stain apoptotic cells. 

The nuclei staining of apoptotic cells is very easily recognized when it is 
in  an advanced stage.
However when the process is early I observe only a brighter staining of 
chromatin clumps, and a more marked limit in nuclei periphery. When this 
happens, the cytoplasm shows a diffuse red staining which is also evident in 
definite apoptotic cells.

In contrast normal alive cells only show a pale diffuse green staining of 
the nuclei and cytoplasm and only a kind of red granule (RNA) in the 
cytoplasm next to the nucleus. 

I have not found any comments concerning this early diffuse intense red 
staining of the cytoplasm with AO in apoptotic and preapoptotic cells.
Could you help me with any ideas, references, etc.?
Thanks a lot
(also you can reply to postmaster at

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