Article

On the nature of Romanowsky dyes and the Romanowsky Giemsa effect

Clinical & Laboratory Haematology (Impact Factor: 1.3). 02/1979; 1(4):247-62. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2257.1979.tb01090.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reviews the nature of Romanowsky staining and the relationship between Romanowsky dyes and the Romanowsky-Giemsa effect (RGE). On blood and bone marrow smears the RGE is characterized by a purple colouration of nuclei and neutrophil granules. The nuclear purple contrasts strongly with the blue cytoplasmic staining of cells rich in RNA. Requirement for the occurrence of RGE are: I A cationic dye: The best dye is azure B and, though azure A gives the nuclear purple colour, the cytoplasmic blue is inferior. No other cationic dye such as methylene blue is suitable. 2 An anionic dye: Most commonly eosin Y is used, but it can be replaced by the erythrosins. Full halogenation of the fluorescein (four atoms of bromine or iodine) is not necessary. Phloxine and rose bengal are unsuitable. 3 An appropriate substrate: These are proteins with acidic side groups or proteins bound to a polyanion. For the interaction with the dyes substrates must provide a suitable three-dimensional network which is why the RGE is not obtained in solutions. A tentative theory of RGE is advanced and briefly discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Azure B is the most important Romanowsky dye. In combination with eosin Y it produces the well known Romanowsky-Giemsa staining pattern on the cell. Usually commercial azure B is strongly contaminated. We prepared a sample of azure B-BF4 which was analytically pure and had no coloured impurities. The substance was used to redetermine the molar extinction coefficient epsilon (v)M of monomeric azur B in alcoholic solution. In the maximum of the long wavelength absorption at v = 15.61 kK (lambda = 641 nm) the absorptivity is epsilon (15.61)M = (9.40 +/- 0.15) x 10(4)M-1 cm-1. This extinction coefficient may be used for standardization of dye samples. In aqeuous solution azur B forms dimers and even higher polymers with increasing concentration. The dissociation constant of the dimers, K = 2,2 x 10(-4)M (293 K), and the absorption spectra of pure monomers and dimers in water have been calculated from the concentration dependence of the spectra using an iterative procedure. The molar extinction coefficient of the monomers at 15.47 kK (646 nm) is epsilon (15.47)M = 7.4 x 10(4)M-1 cm-1. The dimers have two long wavelength absorption bands at 14.60 and 16.80 kK (685 and 595 nm) with very different intensities 2 x 10(4) and 13.5 x 10(4)M-1 cm-1. The spectrum of the dimers in aqueous solution is in agreement with theoretical considerations of Förster (1946) and Levinson et al. (1957). It agrees with an antiparallel orientation of the molecules in the dimers. It may be that dimers bound to a substrate in the cell have another geometry than dimers in solution. In this case the weak long wavelength absorption of the dimers can increase.
    Histochemistry 02/1981; 72(2):279-90.
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    Histochemie 05/1981; 72(2):279-290. DOI:10.1007/BF00517141 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    Histochemie 11/1982; 75(4):539-555. DOI:10.1007/BF00640605 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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