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Proper Application of Antibodies for Immunohistochemical Detection: Antibody Crimes and How to Prevent Them

Ivell, Richard; Teerds, Katja; Hoffman, Gloria E


Richard Ivell

Katja Teerds

Gloria E Hoffman


For several decades antibodies raised against specific proteins, peptides, or peptide epitopes have proven to be versatile and very powerful tools to demonstrate molecular identity in cells and tissues. New techniques of immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence have improved both the optical resolution of such protein identification as well as its sensitivity, particularly through the use of amplification methodology. However, this improved sensitivity has also increased the risks of false-positive and false-negative staining and thereby raised the necessity for proper and adequate controls. In this review, the authors drawonmanyyears of experience to illuminate many of the more common errors and problematic issues in immunohistochemistry, and how these may be avoided. A key factor in all of this is that techniques need to be properly documented and especially antibodies and procedures must be adequately described. Antibodies are a valuable and shared resource within the scientific community; it is essential therefore that mistakes involving antibodies and their controls are not perpetuated through inadequate reporting in the literature.


Ivell, R., Teerds, K., & Hoffman, G. E. (2014). Proper Application of Antibodies for Immunohistochemical Detection: Antibody Crimes and How to Prevent Them. Endocrinology, 155(3), 676-687.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 16, 2013
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2014
Publication Date Mar 1, 2014
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2017
Journal Endocrinology
Print ISSN 0013-7227
Electronic ISSN 1945-7170
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 155
Issue 3
Pages 676-687
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

This file is under embargo due to copyright reasons.

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