DAPI as a useful stain for nuclear quantitation

Biotech Histochem. 1991;66(6):297-302.


A simple-to-use fluorescent stain, 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), visualizes nuclear DNA in both living and fixed cells. DAPI staining was used to determine the number of nuclei and to assess gross cell morphology. Following light microscopic analyses, the stained cells were processed for electron microscopy. Cells stained with DAPI showed no ultrastructural changes compared to the appearance of cells not stained with DAPI. DAPI staining allows multiple use of cells eliminating the need for duplicate samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cochlea / ultrastructure
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / ultrastructure
  • Indoles / chemistry*
  • Kidney / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Myocardium / ultrastructure
  • Staining and Labeling*
  • Swine
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Indoles
  • DAPI
  • DNA