Periodic Acid-Schiff Stain

Periodic Acid-Schiff Stain

Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) is a staining method used to detect polysaccharides such as glycogen, and mucosubstances such as glycoproteins, glycolipids and mucins in tissues. The reaction of periodic acid oxidizes the vicinal diols in these sugars, usually breaking up the bond between two adjacent carbons not involved in the glycosidic linkage or ring closure in the ring of the monosaccharide units that are parts of the long polysaccharides, and creating a pair of aldehydes at the two free tips of each broken monosaccharide ring. The oxidation condition has to be sufficiently regulated so as to not oxidize the aldehydes further. These aldehydes then react with the Schiff reagent to give a purple-magenta color. A suitable basic stain is often used as a counterstain.

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