A collective name for several similar lichen-derived dyes (although some synthetic ones are availble). Orcein is chemically similar to litmus. It is sometimes called Shikata orcein after the Japanese researcher who first described its use in 1974 to stain the hepatitis B surface antigen in histological slides. It is used as a special stain in histopathology, particularly in liver tissue where orcein binds to elastic fibres, hepatitis B surface antigen and copper-binding proteins, the common factor amongst these apparently diverse substances is a relative richness in sulfhydrl groups. Victoria Blue staining is an alternative to orcein.
- ↑ Shikata T, Uzawa T, Yoshiwara N, Akatsuka T, Yamazaki S. Staining methods of Australia antigen in paraffin section--detection of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies. The Japanese journal of experimental medicine. 1974 Feb; 44(1):25-36.
- ↑ Matturri L, Cazzola P. Histochemical study of orcein-positive hepatocellular material in paraffin sections of liver biopsy samples in the course of various liver diseases. La Ricerca in clinica e in laboratorio. 1979 Jan-Mar; 9(1):41-6.