Ultrastructural cytochemistry of hepatic lysosomes and their protein components is selectively revealed by the ninhydrin-dimethyl sulfoxide-thiocarbohydrazide-silver proteinate reaction

G. I. Malinin, H. K. Lo, T. I. Malinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Proteins in lysosomal membranes, lysosomes and within the transtubular network are readily accessible for electron microscopic analysis by a new three-step method. Oxidative deamination of tissue-bound amino acids by ninhydrin in a queous dimethyl sulfoxide and the concomitant formation of corresponding carbonyl groups comprise the first step. The addition reaction of thiocarbohydrazide to tissue-bound carbonyl groups comprises the second step, while the reduction of silver proteinate by tissue-bound thiocarbohydrazones is the final step of this sequential method. Glutaraldehyde-fixed and osmified ultrathin sections of rat liver embedded in LR White were oxidatively deaminated for 24 h by 1% w/v ninhydrin in aqueous 75% v/v dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). They were then incubated for 40 min in aqueous 1% w/v thiocarbohydrazide (TCH) and stained for 30 min at 50° C with silver proteinate (SP). The ninhydrin-dimethyl sulfoxide-thiocarbohydrazidesilver proteinate (N-DMSO-TCH-SP) reaction proved to be chemically specific and highly selective for ultrastructural resolution of the internal structure of lysosomes and their protein components. We conclude that the N-DMSO-TCH-SP reaction is the method of choice for cytochemical elucidation of the protein ultrastructure of lysosomes and their enzymatic aggregates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this