Heat-induced antigen retrieval of epoxy sections for electron microscopy

  • Sverre Henning Brorson
Keywords: antigen retrieval, epoxy resin, immunohistochemistry, acrylic resin, immunogold


The purpose of this manuscript is to review the literature on the use of heat-induced antigen retrieval methods to enhance the immunolabeling of epoxy sections at the electron microscopical level. The history of the development of antigen retrieval by heating formaldehyde fixed paraffin sections in a buffer solution is given in short, and how this technique has been extended to resin sections and in particular epoxy sections is explained. Theories for the mechanism of enhancement of the immunolabeling of epoxy sections by the heat-retrieval method are discussed, and it is finally speculated whether most of the mechanisms for antigen retrieval on epoxy sections in heated buffer solution are essentially the same as for conventional immunoenhancing by deplastizing and etching. The more accelerator used in the processing of the tissue the more intense the immunolabeling of the heated epoxy sections becomes. The intensity of immunolabeling of the epoxy sections increases with the temperature in the heated buffer solution, and the intensity is significantly higher at high autoclave temperatures than at 95 OC, Heat-induced antigen retrieval is also compared with other, conventional techniques for enhancing the immunolabeling of epoxy sections.