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REACTIVITY SENSITIVITY MW (kDa) Isotype
M Endogenous N/A Mouse IgM
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IHC analysis of paraffin-embedded mouse embryo, showing staining of hair follicles, using SSEA1 (MC480) Mouse mAb.

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Confocal immunofluorescent analysis of mouse embryonic stem cells growing on mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder cells using SSEA1 (MC480) Mouse mAb (green). Actin filaments have been labeled with DY-554 phalloidin (red). Blue pseudocolor = DRAQ5™ (fluorescent DNA dye).

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Flow cytometric analysis of unpermeabilized NIH/3T3 cells (blue) and unpermeabilized F9 cells (green) using SSEA1 (MC480) Mouse mAb.

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Immunohistochemistry (Paraffin)

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalent grade water.

  1. Xylene.
  2. Ethanol, anhydrous denatured, histological grade (100% and 95%).
  3. Deionized water (dH2O).
  4. Hematoxylin (optional).
  5. Wash Buffer:
    1. 1X Tris Buffered Saline with Tween® 20 (TBST): To prepare 1L 1X TBST add 100 ml 10X Tris Buffered Saline with Tween® 20 (#9997) to 900 ml dH20, mix.
  6. SignalStain® Antibody Diluent (#8112).
  7. 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.
  8. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide: To prepare 100 ml, add 10 ml 30% H2O2 to 90 ml dH2O.
  9. Blocking Solution: TBST/5% Normal Goat Serum: to 5 ml 1X TBST, add 250 µl Normal Goat Serum (#5425).
  10. Detection System: SignalStain® Boost IHC Detection Reagents (HRP, Mouse #8125).
  11. Substrate: Vector® NovaRED™ (Vector Laboratories).

B. Deparaffinization/Rehydration

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

  1. Deparaffinize/hydrate sections:
    1. Incubate sections in three washes of xylene for 5 min each.
    2. Incubate sections in two washes of 100% ethanol for 10 min each.
    3. Incubate sections in two washes of 95% ethanol for 10 min each.
  2. Wash sections two times in dH2O for 5 min each.

C. Antigen Unmasking

For Citrate: Bring slides to a boil in 10 mM sodium citrate buffer, pH 6.0; maintain at a sub-boiling temperature for 10 min. Cool slides on bench top for 30 min.

D. Staining

  1. Wash sections in dH2O three times for 5 min each.
  2. Incubate sections in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min.
  3. Wash sections in dH2O two times for 5 min each.
  4. Wash sections in wash buffer for 5 min.
  5. Block each section with 100–400 µl blocking solution for 1 hr at room temperature.
  6. Remove blocking solution and add 100–400 µl primary antibody diluted in SignalStain® Antibody Diluent (#8112) to each section. Incubate overnight at 4°C.
  7. Equilibrate SignalStain® Boost Detection Reagent (HRP, Mouse #8125) to room temperature.
  8. Remove antibody solution and wash sections with wash buffer three times for 5 min each.
  9. Cover section with 1–3 drops SignalStain® Boost Detection Reagent (HRP, Mouse #8125) as needed. Incubate in a humidified chamber for 30 min at room temperature.
  10. Wash sections three times with wash buffer for 5 min each.
  11. Prepare Vector® NovaRED™ per manufacturer's recommendations.
  12. Apply 100-400 µl substrate to each section and monitor closely. 5-15 minutes generally provides an acceptable staining intensity.
  13. Immerse slides in dH2O.
  14. If desired, counterstain sections with hematoxylin per manufacturer’s instructions.
  15. Wash sections in dH2O two times for 5 min each.
  16. Dehydrate sections:
    1. Incubate sections in 95% ethanol two times for 10 sec each.
    2. Repeat in 100% ethanol, incubating sections two times for 10 sec each.
    3. Repeat in xylene, incubating sections two times for 10 sec each.
  17. Mount sections with coverslips.

posted February 2010

revised November 2013

protocol id: 287

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Immunofluorescence (Immunocytochemistry)

A. Solutions and Reagents

NOTE: Prepare solutions with reverse osmosis deionized (RODI) or equivalently purified water.

  1. 20X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): (9808) To prepare 1L 1X PBS: add 50 ml 20X PBS to 950 ml dH2O, mix. Adjust pH to 8.0.
  2. Formaldehyde: 16%, methanol free, Polysciences, Inc. (cat# 18814), use fresh and store opened vials at 4°C in dark, dilute in 1X PBS for use.
  3. Blocking Buffer (1X PBS / 5% normal serum): To prepare 10 ml, add 0.5 ml 20X PBS, 1.25 ml normal serum from the same species as the secondary antibody (e.g., Normal Goat Serum (#5425)) and 9.0 mL dH2O and mix well.
  4. Antibody Dilution Buffer (1X PBS / 1% BSA): Add 0.1 g BSA (9998) to 10 ml 1X PBS and mix well.
  5. Recommended Fluorochrome-conjugated Anti-Mouse secondary antibodies:

    NOTE: When using any primary or fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody for the first time, titrate the antibody to determine which dilution allows for the strongest specific signal with the least background for your sample.

  6. Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent (#9071), Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent with DAPI (#8961).

B. Specimen Preparation - 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. Aspirate liquid, then cover cells to a depth of 2–3 mm with 4% formaldehyde in 1X PBS.
    NOTE: Formaldehyde is toxic, use only in fume hood.
  2. Allow cells to fix for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Aspirate fixative, rinse three times in 1X 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.

  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 1X PBS for 5 minutes each.
  6. Incubate specimen in fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody diluted in Antibody Dilution Buffer for 1–2 hours at room temperature in dark.
  7. Rinse in 1X PBS as in step 5.
  8. Coverslip slides with Prolong® Gold Antifade Reagent (#9071), Prolong® Gold AntiFade Reagent 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 December 2010

protocol id: 144

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Flow Cytometry

A. Solutions and Reagents

  1. 1X Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS): Dissolve 8 g NaCl, 0.2 g KCl, 1.44 g Na2HPO4 and 0.24 g KH2PO4 in 800 mL distilled water (dH2O). Adjust the pH to 7.4 with HCl and the volume to 1 liter. Store at room temperature.
  2. Formaldehyde (methanol free).
  3. Incubation Buffer: Dissolve 0.5 g bovine serum albumin (BSA) in 100mL 1X PBS. Store at 4°C.

B. Fixation

  1. Collect cells by centrifugation and aspirate supernatant.
  2. Resuspend cells briefly in 0.5-1 ml PBS. Add formaldehyde to a final concentration of 2-4% formaldehyde.
  3. Fix for 10 minutes at 37°C.
  4. Add 5 ml PBS and rinse by centrifugation.
  5. Resuspend cells in 5 ml PBS.
  6. Proceed with staining or store cells at +4°C in PBS with 0.1% sodium azide.

C. Staining Using Unlabeled Primary and Conjugated Secondary Antibodies

NOTE: Allow for isotype matched controls for monoclonal antibodies or species matched IgG for polyclonal antibodies. Count cells using a hemacytometer or alternative method.

  1. Aliquot 0.5-1 x 106 cells into each assay tube (by volume).
  2. Add 2-3 ml Incubation Buffer to each tube and rinse by centrifugation. Repeat.
  3. Resuspend cells in 100 μl Incubation Buffer per assay tube.
  4. Block in Incubation Buffer for 10 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Add the primary antibody at the appropriate dilution to the assay tubes (see individual antibody data sheet for the appropriate dilution).
  6. Incubate for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Rinse as before in Incubation Buffer by centrifugation.
  8. Resuspend cells in fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibody, diluted in Incubation Buffer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  9. Incubate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  10. Rinse as before in Incubation Buffer by centrifugation.
  11. Resuspend cells in 0.5 ml PBS and analyze on flow cytometer.

*Recommended Secondary Antibodies:

Anti-Mouse

posted January 2009

protocol id: 36

Product Usage Information

Application Dilutions
Immunohistochemistry 1:200
Immunofluorescence 1:1000
Flow Cytometry 1:800

Storage: Supplied in 10 mM sodium HEPES (pH 7.5), 150 mM NaCl, 100 µg/ml BSA, 50% glycerol and less than 0.02% sodium azide. Store at –20°C. Do not aliquot the antibody.

Specificity / Sensitivity

SSEA1 Antibody detects endogenous levels of SSEA1 antigen.


Species Reactivity: Mouse

Source / Purification

Monoclonal antibody is produced by immunizing animals with F9 teratoma cells (X-irradiated).

SSEA-1 antibody detects a lactoseries oligosaccharide antigen that is expressed on the surface of mouse embryonal carcinoma and embryonic stem cells (1). This antigen is also found on early mouse embryos and both mouse and human germ cells, but is absent on human embryonic stem cells and human embryonic carcinoma cells. Expression of SSEA1 in these human cell types increases upon differentiation, while on the mouse cell types differentiation leads to decreased expression (2).


1.  Solter, D. and Knowles, B.B. (1978) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 75, 5565-9.

2.  Fenderson, B.A. et al. (1987) Dev Biol 122, 21-34.



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DRAQ5® is a registered trademark of Biostatus Limited.