Cell membrane stains

Useful for tissue sections, in vivo neurons, fixed tissue sections and cultured cells, these lipophilic neuronal tracers are used in both anterograde and retrograde transport studies.


Select cell membrane stains

Lipophilic Tracers

  • Exogenous staining
  • Crystal and paste formulations for tissue staining
  • Will stain fixed tissue sections
  • Anterograde and retrograde transport

Carbocyanine dyes, such as DiI and its derivatives, label cell membranes without appreciably affecting cell viability and can be used for long-term studies. The dyes uniformly label neurons via lateral diffusion in the plasma membrane, which is supplemented by active dye transport processes in living tissues.

Crystal and paste preparations provide convenient options for loading tissues. Lipophilic tracers can be used to trace neuronal projections in fixed tissue sections.

  Lipophilic Tracers
Axons in the dorsonasal retina of a zebrafish embryo labeled with DiI, and nuclei counterstained with SYTOX® Green nucleic acid stain.

Selection Guides for Cell Membrane Staining Products

Properties

Readout Labels cell membranes and does not appreciably affect cell viability. The dyes uniformly label neurons via lateral diffusion in the plasma membrane, supplemented by active dye transport processes in living tissues. Crystal and paste preparations provide convenient loading optons for tissue sections.
Tissue sections Yes
In vivo neurons Yes
Fixed tissue sections Yes
Cultured cells Yes
Cell loading Iontophoresis, microinjection, or crystal/paste placement
Staining mode Exogenous
Best for Cell populations
Transport Bidirectional
Photobleaching resistance 2 stars
Synaptic transfer No
Gap junction transfer No
Bibliography Citations—DiI Citations—DiD Citations—DiR

 

Selection Guide

  Standard
filter set(s)
Fluorophore/
conjugate
Ex/Em (nm) Fixable Format Cat. No.
"DiI" — DiIC18(3) Rhodamine DiI 449/565 No Solid D282
"DiI" — DiIC18(3), crystalline Crystal D3911
NeuroTrace® DiI Tissue-Labeling Paste Paste N22880
Vybrant® DiI Cell-Labeling Solution Solution V22885
CellTracker™ CM-DiI CM DiI 449/565 Yes Solid C7001
NeuroTrace® CM-DiI Tissue-Labeling Paste Paste N22883
Vybrant® CM-DiI Cell-Labeling Solution Solution V22888
"DiD" — DiIC18(5) Cy®5 DiD 644/665 No Solid D7757
"DiR" — DiIC18(7) Cy®5.5 DiR 750/780 Solid D12731