Alpha1-antitrypsin was detected by indirect immunofluorescence in frozen sections of liver biopsies from patients with clinically and biochemically proven alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency. The antigen could also be demonstrated in those liver specimens of the same patients which were fixed in Bouin's fluid and embedded in paraffin. The cellular localization and the brightness of the fluorescence were the same in both frozen and paraffin sections. Four additional biopsies from three other patients were selected on the basis of PAS-positive diastase-resistant inclusions reported in the hepatocytes. All these biopsies showed bright fluorescence in the cytoplasm of the liver cells although one of the biopsies was stored for as long as eight years. Specific fluorescence was constantly found in the periportal hepatocytes with varying degrees of positivity. No fluorescence was observed in the six control biopsies from patients with various other liver diseases. These findings prove that paraffin embedded specimens are suitable for immunofluorescence detection of alpha1-antitrypsin and that a retrospective study on old paraffin blocks is possible.
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