Quantitative analysis of the decay of immunoreactivity in stored prostate needle biopsy sections

André N. Vis, Ries Kranse, Alex L. Nigg, Theo H. Van Der Kwast

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Application of immunohistochemistry to assess the presence of prognostic tissue markers is used widely. The quantitation of these markers may be hampered by a time-related loss of antigenicity in formalin-fixed paraffin- embedded tissue stored on glass slides. Potential loss of immunohistochemical staining intensity was studied on prostatic needle biopsy sections stored for a maximum of 4 years with antibodies against p27(kip1), CD-44s, MIB-1, and androgen receptor (AR). In benign tissue, the positive/total ratio for p27(kip1) was determined, while CD-44s staining intensity was assessed semiquantitatively. For MIB-1 and AR, nuclear staining intensity was assessed using computed image analysis. An exponential and significant decay of immunoreactivity was seen for p27(kip1), CD-44s, MIB-1, and AR, with half- lives of 587 days, 214 days, and 290 days for p27(kip1), MIB-1, and AR, respectively. Immunohistochemical assessment of prognostic tissue markers on stored slides must be considered with care in research and clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-373
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Antigenicity
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Method
  • Paraffin slides
  • Prognostic marker
  • Prostate

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