IMPORTANT: Please refer to the APPLICATIONS section on the front page of the datasheet to determine if this product is validated and approved for use on cultured cell lines (IF-IC), paraffin-embedded samples (IF-P), or frozen tissue sections (IF-F).

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with Milli-Q or equivalently purified water.

  • 10X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): To prepare 1 L add 80 g sodium chloride (NaCl), 2 g potassium chloride (KCl), 14.4 g sodium phosphate, dibasic (Na2HPO4) and 2.4 g potassium phosphate, monobasic (KH2PO4) to 1 L dH2O. Adjust pH to 8.0.
  • Formaldehyde, 16%, methanol free, Polysciences, Inc. (cat# 18814), use fresh, store opened vials at 4°C in dark, dilute in PBS for use.
  • Blocking Buffer (1X PBS / 5% normal goat serum (#5425) / 0.3% Triton X-100):
    To prepare 25 ml, add 2.5 ml 10X PBS, 1.25 ml normal serum from the same species as the secondary antibody (e.g., normal goat serum, normal donkey serum) and 21.25 ml dH2O and mix well. While stirring, add 75 µl Triton X-100.
  • Antibody Dilution Buffer (1X PBS / 1% BSA / 0.3% Triton X-100):
    To prepare 40 ml, add 4 ml 10X PBS to 36 ml dH2O, mix. Add 0.4 g BSA and mix well. While stirring, add 120 µl Triton X-100.
  • Fluorochrome-conjugated Avidin/Streptavidin
    NOTE: When using any primary antibody or fluorochrome-conjugated Avidin/Streptavidin for the first time, we recommend performing a full titration to determine which dilution allows for the strongest specific signal with the least background for your sample.
  • Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent (#9071), with DAPI (#8961).

Reagents specific to IF-P application:

  • Xylene
  • Ethanol, anhydrous denatured, histological grade, 100% and 95%
  • Antigen Unmasking:
    • Citrate: 10 mM Sodium Citrate Buffer: To prepare 1 L add 2.94 g sodium citrate trisodium salt dihydrate (C6H5Na3O7•2H2O) to 1 L dH2O. Adjust pH to 6.0.
    • EDTA: 1 mM EDTA: To prepare 1 L add 0.372 g EDTA (C10H14N2O8Na2•2H2O) to 1 L dH2O. Adjust pH to 8.0.

B. Specimen Preparation

I. Cultured Cell Lines (IF-IC)

NOTE: Cells should be grown, treated, fixed and stained directly in multi-well plates, chamber slides or on coverslips.

  1. Rinse cells briefly in PBS.
  2. Aspirate PBS, cover cells to a depth of 2–3 mm with 4% formaldehyde in PBS.
    NOTE: Formaldehyde is toxic, use only in fume hood.
  3. Allow cells to fix for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Aspirate fixative, rinse three times in PBS for 5 minutes each.
  5. Proceed with Immunostaining section C.

II. Paraffin Sections (IF-P)

NOTE: Do not allow slides to dry at any time during this process.

  1. Deparaffinization/Rehydration:
    1. Incubate sections in three washes of xylene for 5 minutes each.
    2. Incubate sections in two washes of 100% ethanol for 10 minutes each.
    3. Incubate sections in two washes of 95% ethanol for 10 minutes each.
    4. Rinse sections twice in dH2O for 5 minutes each.
  2. Antigen Unmasking:
    NOTE: Consult product datasheet for specific recommendation for the unmasking solution.
    1. For Citrate: Bring slides to a boil in 10 mM sodium citrate buffer pH 6.0, then maintain at a sub-boiling temperature for 10 minutes. Cool slides on bench top for 30 minutes.
    2. For EDTA: Bring slides to a boil in 1 mM EDTA pH 8.0 followed by 15 minutes at a sub-boiling temperature. No cooling is necessary.
  3. Proceed with Immunostaining (Section C).

III. Frozen/Cryostat Sections (IF-F)

  1. For fixed frozen tissue proceed with Immunostaining (Section C).
  2. For fresh, unfixed frozen tissue, please fix immediately, as follows:
    1. Cover sections with 2–4% formaldehyde in PBS.
      NOTE: Formaldehyde is toxic, use only in fume hood.
    2. Allow sections to fix for 15 minutes at room temperature.
    3. Rinse slides three times in PBS for 5 minutes each.
    4. Proceed with Immunostaining (Section C).

C. Immunostaining

NOTE: All subsequent incubations should be carried out at room temperature unless otherwise noted in a humid light-tight box or covered dish/plate to prevent drying and fluorochrome fading.

NOTE: Tissues or cells having high endogenous biotin levels may require the use of a biotin blocking kit. (i.e. Endogenous Biotin-Blocking Kit, Invitrogen Cat. #E21390) prior to performing Step 1 in this section.

  1. Block specimen in Blocking Buffer for 60 minutes.
  2. While blocking, prepare primary antibody by diluting as indicated on datasheet in Antibody Dilution Buffer.
  3. Aspirate blocking solution, apply diluted primary antibody.
  4. Incubate overnight at 4°C.
  5. Rinse three times in PBS for 5 minutes each.
  6. Incubate specimen in fluorochrome-conjugated Avidin/Streptavidin diluted in Antibody Dilution Buffer for 30 minutes at room temperature in dark.
  7. Rinse three times in PBS for 5 minutes each.
  8. Coverslip slides with Prolong® Gold Antifade Reagent (#9071), with DAPI (#8961).
  9. For best results examine specimens immediately using appropriate excitation wavelength. For long term storage, store slides flat at 4°C protected from light.

posted January 2009

revised August 2011

Support: 877-678-8324 support@cellsignal.com • Orders: 877-616-2355 orders@cellsignal.com • Web: www.cellsignal.com