Selective, demonstration of RNA in tissues was achieved by treating tissue sections with potassium permanganate followed by bisulfite and toluidine blue at pH. 1.0 (PBT reaction). It is suggested that this reaction is due to aldehyde groups which are formed by the oxidative cleavage of the pyrimidine rings of RNA which can be selectively demonstrated using bisulfite-toluidine blue as the aldehyde reagent. The specificity of the reaction was tested after RNAase treatment, after acid hydrolysis, and on pure RNA droplets. The aldehyde nature of the reacting groups was checked, after permanganate oxidation, by Schiff's leucofuchsin reagent, and by aldehyde blocking reactions. Two types of intracellular molecular arrangement of RNA molecules could be distinguished by polarization optics after application of the PBT reaction: 1) The strong birefringence, dichroism and metachromatic staining of membrane-bound RNA in ergastoplasm of pancreas, liver and plasma cells indicate a linear (planar) molecular order of RNA molecules on the surface of the membranes, and 2) the isotropic, basophilic staining of RNA not organized in membrane structures (Nissl substance, nucleoli) suggest a random distribution of their dye binding sites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)