10-N nonyl-acridine orange: a fluorescent probe which stains mitochondria independently of their energetic state

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Oct 16;164(1):185-90. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)91700-2.


The specificity of binding of 10-N Nonyl Acridine Orange to mitochondria, and more precisely to inner membranes, is demonstrated by subcellular fractionation of hepatocytes. Unlike Rhodamine 123, which is a preferential marker of the transmembrane potential, Nonyl Acridine Orange binding is essentially independent of the mitochondria energization state although a low uptake of this dye, in response to the potential, may be measured. So 10-N Nonyl acridine orange is an appropriate marker of the mitochondial membrane surface per unit of cell mass.

MeSH terms

  • Acridine Orange / analogs & derivatives*
  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Dyes*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria, Liver / enzymology
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rhodamines / pharmacokinetics
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Rhodamines
  • N(10)-nonylacridine orange
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Acridine Orange