Special Feature

User Panel

My Panel

My Panel

Bookmark Science Articles

Recent News
Bookmark / Share This Science Site


Immunofluorescence Table of Contents

Immunofluorescence Introduction

Immunofluorescence is the labeling of antibodies or antigens with fluorescent dyes. This technique is often used to visualize the subcellular distribution of biomolecules of interest. Immunofluorescent-labelled tissue sections or cultures are studied using a fluorescence microscope or by confocal microscopy.

Most commonly, immunofluorescence employs two sets of antibodies: a primary antibody is used against the antigen of interest; a subsequent, secondary, dye-coupled antibody is introduced that recognizes the primary antibody. In this fashion the researcher may create several primary antibodies that recognize various antigens, but, because they all share a common constant region, may be recognized by a single dye-coupled antibody. Typically this is done by using antibodies made in different species. For example, a researcher might create antibodies in a goat that recognize several antigens, and then employ dye-coupled rabbit antibodies that recognize the goat antibody constant region (denoted rabbit anti-goat). This allows re-use of the difficult-to-make dye-coupled antibodies in multiple experiments.

In some cases, it is advantageous to use primary antibodies directly labelled with a fluorophore. This direct labelling decreases the number of steps in the staining procedure and, more importantly, often avoids cross-reactivity and high background problems. Fluorescent labelling can be performed in less than one hour with readily available labeling kits.


Immunofluorescence Applications

Many uses of immunofluorescence have been outmoded by the development of recombinant proteins containing fluorescent protein domains, e.g. green fluorescent protein (GFP). Use of such "tagged" proteins allows much better localization and less disruption of protein function.

Applications of Immunofluorescence include:

  • tagging proteins


Disadvantages with Immunofluorescence

As with most fluorescence techniques, a significant problem with immunofluorescence is photobleaching. Loss of activity caused by photobleaching can be controlled by reducing the intensity or time-span of light exposure, by increasing the concentration of fluorophores, or by employing more robust fluorophores that are less prone to bleaching (e.g. Alexa Fluors or DyLight Fluors).


Immunofluorescence Protocols

Because they contain ingredients which act upon each other, many mixtures are most efficient when made up fresh.



Immunofluorescence Forum Topics

Brilliant Violet Hi! Has someone used the new *Brilliant Violet* fluorophore family for fluorescence microscopy ? If yes, how did you find them? Thanks
You must REGISTER NOW to post a question in the Immunofluorescence Forum. Login now if you have already registered.

Immunofluorescence Videos

  • Immunofluorescence Video

  • Immunofluorescence. This video explains how to use immunofluorescence to stain different parts of the cell by June Cheng.

    Added by: oBWhat
    Tags: immunofluorescence stain cells
    Date: 2008-05-04




    Embedding Tissues

    Acetic Acid Fixing Solution

    Acetone Fixing Solution

    Chromium Trioxide Fixing Solution


    Microscope Histology


    Basic Tissue Histology

    Histology Methods

    Endothelium Histology

    Epithelium Histology

    Cuboidal Epithelium

    Pavement Epithelium

    Columnar Epithelium

    Ciliated Epithelium


    Science News

    For science news click here:Science News