7 AAD / 7-amino-actinomycin D

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 September 2015, last major update July 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: 7 AAD
  • Fluorescent dye that binds DNA and is excited by a 488 nm laser, commonly used in flow cytometry
  • Intact cells exclude 7 AAD, but dead or apoptotic cells that have lost membrane intergrity allow 7 AAD entry, which binds to DNA (Wikipedia, Nat Protoc 2007;2:187)

7 AAD fluorescence

Uses by Pathologists
  • Used in flow cytometry to reduce non-specific staining by eliminating 7 AAD positive cells (dead cells) from further analysis
  • Can use to exclude dead sperm (Andrologia 2010;42:20)
Positive Staining - Normal
  • Dead cells: allow entry of dye, which binds DNA and fluoresces with 488 nm laser commonly used in flow cytometry
Negative Staining
  • Viable cells (do not allow entry of dye into cell)