Fluoro-jade stain is a fluorochrome derived from fluorescein, and is commonly used in neuroscience disciplines to label degenerating neurons in ex vivo tissue of the central nervous system. The first fluoro-jade derivative was reported by Larry Schmued in 1997 as an alternative method from traditional methods for labeling degenerating neurons such as silver nitrate staining, H&E stain, or Nissl stain. Fluoro-jade may be preferred to other degenerative stains due to simplicity of staining procedures and visual interpretation, which are common drawbacks of conventional degenerative stains. However, the mechanism by which fluoro-jade labels degenerating neurons is unknown thus creating some controversy to the actual physiological condition of the labeled cells.
Currently, there are three fluoro-jade dyes (fluoro-jade, fluoro-jade B, and fluoro-jade C ), all of which are anionic derivatives of fluorescein and highly acidic.