Effects of monomeric acrylic embedding media on the antigenicity of two epitopes of the MIC2-encoded Ewing's sarcoma cell membrane antigen.

PMID 1377663


Comparative electron microscopic studies of pre- and postembedding immunolabeling experiments have shown that the antigenicity of some epitopes is lost during acrylic resin embedding of the respective tissues. In the present investigation we have tested the sensitivities of two embedding-labile epitopes (HBA-71 and HBA-45) of the Ewing's sarcoma-associated MIC2-encoded E2 antigen to the effects of the different treatment steps, which are necessary for the preparation of ultrathin sections. The extent of antigenic retention was quantitated using flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) of tumor cell lines, thymocytes and cell membrane extracts. Fixation, dehydration and high temperature treatment of MIC2-positive cells showed only minor effects on the reactivity with the HBA-71 and HBA-45 antibodies. However, exposure of the cells to the monomeric acrylic resins LR White (LRW), LR Gold (LRG) and Lowicryl K4M at 4 degrees C for 2-18 h resulted in a significant reduction of the HBA-71 and HBA-45 reactivities. In contrast, the antigenicity of both epitopes was maintained during treatment with the apolar Lowicryl HM20 embedding medium under these non-polymerizing conditions. The resins have no direct effect on the HBA-71/HBA-45 antigen, since it could be extracted in intact form from membranes of native, but not of fixed, tumour cells using LRW for membrane solubilization. These data indicate that the HBA-71/HBA-45 antigen remains in the cell membrane and is indirectly influenced by the extraction/modification of adjacent membrane constituents. The adverse effects of the polymerization process, in the case of embedding at low temperature in Lowicryl HM20, destroyed MIC2-antigenicity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)