Acridine orange

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D.

Revised: 21 March 2018, last major update August 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: acridine orange[title]

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Cite this page: Pernick, N. Acridine orange. website. Accessed January 18th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Nucleic acid, selective fluorescent cationic dye useful for cell cycle determination (Wikipedia)
  • Cell-permeable, interacts with DNA by intercalation and with RNA by electrostatic attraction
  • Accumulates in intracellular acidic vesicles, especially lysosomes, in an acidity-dependent manner; anti-tumor effect due to its marked and prolonged accumulation in acidic lysosomes of cancer cells (Curr Pharm Des 2012;18:1414)
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Bacilli and cocci clusters

Buccal smear (female)

Buccal smear (male)


Oral cavity: normal cells

Oral cavity: squamous cell carcinoma

Sperm: chromatin

Sperm: hyaluronic acid