Proliferation markers in the adult rodent brain: bromodeoxyuridine and proliferating cell nuclear antigen

Brain Res Brain Res Protoc. 2005 Sep;15(3):127-34. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresprot.2005.06.001.


The rostral migratory stream is one of the few regions of the adult mammalian central nervous system in which cellular migration and proliferation have been described. Most rostral migratory stream cells divide rapidly and hence different proliferation markers have been employed to identify them. Nitrogen base substitutes, such as tritiated thymidine or 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU), together with endogenous molecules, such as Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA), are the cell cycle markers most widely employed. Protocols for BrdU and PCNA localization are both plentiful and diverse, but to date no optimized protocol for obtaining trustworthy double staining of both markers has been described. In this work, we propose optimized protocols for achieving both single staining and the joint detection of BrdU and PCNA in the rodent brain using double-immunofluorescence procedures. The double labeling described allows the discrimination of different cell cycle stages in migratory cells from the mouse brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / administration & dosage
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / physiology*


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Bromodeoxyuridine