UNIT 7.32 Polychromatic Analysis of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Using JC-1

  1. Enrico Lugli,
  2. Leonarda Troiano,
  3. Andrea Cossarizza

Published Online: 1 JUL 2007

DOI: 10.1002/0471142956.cy0732s41

Current Protocols in Cytometry

Current Protocols in Cytometry

How to Cite

Lugli, E., Troiano, L. and Cossarizza, A. 2007. Polychromatic Analysis of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Using JC-1. Current Protocols in Cytometry. 41:7.32:7.32.1–7.32.15.

Author Information

  1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, General Pathology Section, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2007
  2. Published Print: JUL 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 APR 2015)


Dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) has been accepted as a hallmark of some apoptotic processes. Depending on the model studied, it can occur during the early stages of cell death or later on, after loss of DNA integrity. Discordant data in the literature could be the consequence of using improper probes such as rhodamine 123 (R123) or DiOC6(3), which are not always appropriate for the study of ΔΨm. The lipophilic cation JC-1, a specific probe for measuring ΔΨm, is currently the gold standard. Thanks to recently developed instruments and additional probes for cell surface and intracellular markers, it can be used in polychromatic flow cytometric assays to simultaneously detect ΔΨm along with other biological parameters.


  • apoptosis;
  • mitochondrial membrane potential;
  • JC-1;
  • polychromatic flow cytometry;
  • Hoechst 33342;
  • Annexin V;
  • propidium iodide