Unna's Stain
for Plasma Cells


Staining solution
Distilled water 100 mL
Phenol 0.5 g
Glycerol 20 mL
Ethanol, absolute 2.5 mL
Pyronin Y 0.25 g
Methyl green 0.15 g
Place both dyes in a mortar, add the ethanol and grind together. Heat the glycerol to 50°C and add small volumes to the dyes while grinding. Dissolve the phenol in the water and wash the dyes from the mortar. Filter.

Tissue sample
Most fixatives should be satisfactory.


  1. Bring sections to water via xylene and ethanol.
  2. Place into the staining solution at 30°C for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse briefly with water.
  4. Place in absolute ethanol until differentiated.
  5. Clear with xylene and mount with a resinous medium.

Expected results


  1. In their description of this method, Carleton and Leach omit the method of preparation, implying that the trituration of the dyes may not be necessary.


Gray, Peter. (1954)
The Microtomist's Formulary and Guide. p. 355
Originally published by:– The Blakiston Co.
Republished by:– Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co.

Carleton, H M, and Leach, E H, (1938).
Histological technique., Ed. 2.
Oxford University Press, London, England.




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