Immunohistochemistry (IHC) refers to the process in which antibodies are used to detect antigens in a cut or biological tissue section. Using specific binding of antibodies with antigens, may locate and display these target antigens in histological sections by specific antibodies labeled with fluorophores or enzymes, the latter being the most used in IHC.
Immunohistochemistry, immunohistochemical staining also called, is commonly used in different applications such as:
• Diagnosis of abnormal cells present eg in different stages of disease (cancer, etc.), drug development and biological research. The specific biomarkers are characteristic of each cell event such as proliferation or apoptosis, which causes cell abnormality.
• Drug development to evaluate drug efficacy, detecting the variation of the activity of targets of each disease.
• Biological research for location and localization of a protein within the different parts of a cell (nucleus, cytoplasm or membrane, etc.)
While the use of suitable antibodies to specifically target the correct antigens and amplify the signal, it is important to visualize the antigens, a complete and correct sample preparation is an important step for maintaining cell morphology, tissue architecture and antigenicity of the target epitopes. This requires suitable tissue collection, perfusion, tissue fixation, embedding and sectioning, etc.