[Histonet] Antigen retrieval survey

John Kiernan jkiernan at uwo.ca
Tue Jun 23 23:46:25 CDT 2015

Your 2 minutes would be better spent looking in an immunohistochemistry textbook. A small but excellent one is Polak, J.M. and Van Noorden, S. (1997). Introduction to Immunocytochemistry, 2nd ed. Royal Microscopical Society Microscopy Handbooks, 37. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publications. 

You will find that there is an optimal technique of antigen retrieval for each antigen that has been critically studied. Some conditions (such as pH6, close to 100C for an hour) are OK for many antigens. Some require more alkaline solutions (eg pH9, more section losses!) and a few respond best to heating in a more acid (eg pH2) solution. With lower temperatures (eg 80C) longer times are generally needed. All sorts of chemicals have been included in antigen retrieval solutions, often without obvious reasons or explanations. There are published papers that compare retrieval conditions for antigens of importance in diagnostic pathology. Retrieval can sometimes be achieved without heating, as with proteolytic enzymes or 3M urea.

With a survey you may find out which antigen retrieval methods are used by most of those who reply, but you will not learn anything about how to choose and use the methods, or why their discovery about 25 years ago was an important technological advance. 

Check out this classic paper with Web of Science, Scopus, or Google Scholar: 
Shi, S.-R., Key, M.E. and Kalra, K.L. (1991). Antigen retrieval in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue: an enhancement method for immunohistochemical staining based on microwave oven heating of tissue sections. Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 39:741-748. The PDF can be downloaded for free. This paper has been cited by thousands of other publications. The titles of recent citing articles may help you find a good retrieval procedure for the antigen that you need to detect immunohistochemically. 

John Kiernan
UWO, London, Canada
= = =
On 23/06/15, Craig  <vollecra at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am conducting a short 2 min survey for my science/business class
> examining current trends for antigen retrieval also known as heat induce
> epitope retrieval. Response will be greatly appreciated!
> https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7989LKR
> Best,
> Craig Vollert
> Graduate Student
> Department of Pharmacological & Pharmaceutical Sciences
> SR2 521B
> College of Pharmacy
> University of Houston
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