In vivo visualization of Bonghan ducts inside blood vessels of mice by using an Alcian blue staining method

Jung Sun Yoo, Min S. Kim, Vyacheslav Ogay, Kwang S. Soh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


An in vivo method using Alcian blue (AB) was developed for visualizing floating threadlike tissues inside blood vessels of mice. These novel structures called intravascular Bonghan ducts (IBHDs) are considered as extension of acupuncture meridians. For in vivo imaging of IBHDs, AB solution (pH 7.4) that stains mucopolysaccharides like hyaluronic acid was used. After injecting AB solution into the femoral vein of a mouse, the threadlike structures, stained deep blue, inside the inferior vena cava. The histological results, such as hematoxylin, eosin, and AB staining, show the compositions of the cells and the extracellular matrix in the IBHD. Further studies are needed to investigate their physiological functions, especially in relation with those of other circulatory systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-339
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture meridian
  • Alcian blue
  • Bonghan duct
  • Hematoxylin and eosin
  • Hyaluronic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Bioengineering

Cite this