Mayer’s Mucicarmine
for Mucins

Alum hematoxylin, such as Mayer (Langeron).

Carmine 1 g  Combine the carmine, aluminum chloride and water.
Aluminum chloride 0.5 g  Heat until the colour changes to a deep maroon red.
Distilled water 3 mL  Cool, and add the 50% ethanol. Leave 24 hours before use.
Ethanol, 50% 100 mL  Make every 7 - 10 days.

Tissue sample
Alcohol fixed tissues were originally recommended, but 5µ paraffin sections of neutral buffered formalin fixed tissue are suitable. Other fixatives are likely to be satisfactory.


  1. Bring sections to water via xylene and ethanol.
  2. Stain nuclei with hemalum and blue.
  3. Rinse with 70% ethanol.
  4. Place in mucicarmine diluted 1:10 with 70% ethanol for 10-15 minutes
  5. Rinse well with 95% ethanol.
  6. Rinse well with absolute ethanol.
  7. Clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. The stain should be discarded when it begins to deposit on the side of the container.
  2. Bensley recommends using undiluted for 3-10 minutes before copper hematoxylin.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide.
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.
    Mayer, (1896)
    Mitteilungen aus der Zoologischen Station zu Neapel, v. 12, p. 303
    Berlin, Germany

Bensley R. R. and Bensley, S. H., (1938)
Handbook of Histological and Cytological Technique.
U. Chicago Press, Chicago, USA




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