image of Molecular Probes® NucGreen® Dead 488 ReadyProbes® Reagent

Nuclear stain for fixed cells

NucGreen Dead 488 ReadyProbes Reagent emits bright green fluorescence when bound to DNA and is suitable for staining nuclei in fixed-cell preparations and tissue sections. NucGreen Dead 488 reagent may also be used to measure viability and to measure cytotoxicity in kinetic live-cell assays. 

This protocol can be used for:

  • Nucleic acid (nuclear) staining in fluorescence microscopy

This protocol should not be used for:

  • Flow cytometry

You will need the following for this protocol:


Labeling fixed cells

First, fix and permeabilize cultured cells with a protocol appropriate for your sample.

1. Wash the cells 1–3 times in PBS as needed.
2. Add two drops of NucGreen Dead 488 Reagent per milliliter of medium.
3. Incubate for 5–15 minutes, protected from light.
4. Remove the stain solution.
5. Wash the cells 2–3 times in PBS.
6. Image the cells.
Spectral information and storage
 NucGreen Dead 488
Excitation/Emission (nm)504/523  
Standard filter setFITC or GFP
Storage conditionsRoom temperature




Protocol tips

HeLa cells stained with NucGreen® Dead 488 ReadyProbes®
HeLa cells stained with NucGreen Dead 488 ReadyProbes reagent, indicating loss of plasma membrane integrity.