Synthetic pentamonogalloylglucose applied to fixed tissues acts as a mordant, inducing high and diversified contrast similar to that obtained with natural gallotannins of low molecular weight (LMGG). By the separate use of each of the two moieties of the galloylglucose molecule, it was found that gallic acid is the mordanting agent. Glucose may contribute, however, to the effect by increasing the solubility and cross-linking potential of the compound, since the mordanting induced by gallic acid alone is weaker than that produced by its hexose esters. As suggested by results obtained with various phenolics and benzoic acid derivatives, the functional groups required for the mordanting effect of such agents are the carboxyl group, and at least one hydroxyl group concomitantly present on the benzene ring. In the case of galloylglucoses, it is assumed that the effect is due to hydrolysis products (gallic, digallic, or trigallic acids) or to the multiple hydroxyl groups of the intact molecule. Esters of gallic acid (propyl- and methylgallate), as well as pyrogallol, produce a "reversed staining" of all membranes, except for those of communicating (gap) junctions.

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