AIMS--To investigate the application in immunohistochemistry of gamma-subunit specific anti-peptide monoclonal antibodies to human neurone specific enolase (NSE); and to determine their reactivity with formalin fixed, wax embedded sections of normal tissue and neuroendocrine tumours. METHODS--Immunohistochemical staining was performed on sections of formalin fixed, wax embedded tissue with two monoclonal antibodies (NSE-P1 and NSE-P2) raised against different synthetic peptides specific for the gamma subunit of human enolase (neurone specific enolase). RESULTS--Both antibodies gave strong immunostaining in normal tissues and cells known to contain NSE. There was no immunoreactivity in tissues containing either the alpha alpha or beta beta isozymes of enolase. The reactivity of the antibodies with a range of neuroendocrine tumours was also studied and both antibodies gave strong immunostaining of tumour cells in the different tumours. CONCLUSIONS--The use of synthetic peptides from defined regions of a molecule as immunogenes provides antibodies of high specificity. These monoclonal antibodies to NSE are ideally suited for immunohistochemical studies and they should be particularly useful in histopathology as they react with epitopes which are resistant to formalin fixation and wax embedding.
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