Heat-induced antigen retrieval: what are we retrieving?

J Histochem Cytochem. 2006 Sep;54(9):961-4. doi: 10.1369/jhc.6P6945.2006. Epub 2006 May 30.


Of all molecular aspects lost and recovered during formalin fixation and antigen retrieval, respectively, electrostatic charges have probably received the least attention. This review will focus on our work during the past 7 years. It strongly supports the tenet that electrostatic charges, i.e., net negative on antigens and net positive on antibodies, play an important part in immune reactions and therefore should be given greater attention when focusing on quality control in immunohistochemistry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / chemistry*
  • Antigens / analysis
  • Antigens / chemistry*
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Electricity
  • Epitopes
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Immunohistochemistry / standards
  • Quality Control
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Epitopes
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde