Cuprolinic Blue: a specific dye for single-stranded RNA in the presence of magnesium chloride. II. Practical applications for light microscopy

Histochem J. 1983 Nov;15(11):1113-21. doi: 10.1007/BF01003974.


The application of the new nucleic acid dye Cuprolinic Blue to cell smears and tissue sections has been described. Without added cations, Cuprolinic Blue stains both DNA and RNA, whereas in the presence of 1 M MgCl2, Cuprolinic Blue specifically stains single-stranded RNA only. The total RNA can be stained after removal of DNA by DNAase digestion. Fixation in a modified Carnoy solution gave optimal staining results in all cases tested. By cytophotometry, a reliable and reproducible relative estimate can be obtained of the total nucleic acid content, the total RNA content and the amount of single-stranded RNA alone per cell.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coloring Agents*
  • Cytological Techniques
  • DNA
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Indoles*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Magnesium
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Microscopy
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • RNA*
  • Rats
  • Staining and Labeling*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Indoles
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • copper phthalocyanine
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Magnesium