The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society

Assessment of a method for immunochemical detection of antigen on nitrocellulose membranes.

PMID 2536057


Immunoblotting techniques are widely used for detection of antigen immobilized on nitrocellulose membranes. There are many immunolabeling methods and staining methods available to disclose the presence of antigen in such techniques. Five common staining methods each for alkaline phosphatase and horseradish peroxidase were examined. The staining methods with the highest sensitivity and the lowest background were selected for studies comparing five immunological labeling methods using human IgG as a model antigen. Results were evaluated on the basis of the least amount of detectable antigen and background staining. The most sensitive dot-blot method was then tested for its applicability to Western blots. For both dot-blots and Western blots, the immunoalkaline phosphatase methods are more sensitive than the corresponding immunoperoxidase methods. The use of biotinylated secondary antibodies and an avidin-enzyme conjugate is recommended. Disclosure of alkaline phosphate is best achieved with naphthol AS phosphate as substrate and fast blue BB as chromogen. Peroxidase is best stained using H2O2 and diaminobenzidine (DAB). Potential endogenous enzyme activities are demonstrable by blotting methods but can be inhibited by including levamisole in the disclosure reaction medium for calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase indicators, or by incubation of blots with sodium azide and hydrogen peroxide before immunolabeling when using horseradish peroxidase indicators.

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