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Toxicol Pathol. 2006;34(5):616-30.

Immunohistochemical markers for the rodent immune system.

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Comparative Medicine Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-8135, USA.


The responses to insults including chemical toxins, irradiation and infectious agents involve morphologic, biochemical and molecular changes in the immune system. The changes in specific tissues and cells often can be detected by histopathology and its associated field of immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cells normally express specific proteins (antigens) that can be detected by IHC. When responses to xenobiotics occur, cells often up or down regulate proteins. The art of IHC requires specialized procedures for detection of antigens. Fixation, tissue processing, immunoreactions and antigen retrieval methods are important elements of IHC. We review the antibodies, their sources, use of frozen or fixed paraffin-embedded tissues and specific IHC methods including antigen retrieval and illustrate how they can be effectively used to characterize the immunotoxicologic effects of agents.

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