Actin-binding proteins coronin-1a and IBA-1 are effective microglial markers for immunohistochemistry

J Histochem Cytochem. 2007 Jul;55(7):687-700. doi: 10.1369/jhc.6A7156.2007. Epub 2007 Mar 6.


This study identifies the actin-binding protein, coronin-1a, as a novel and effective immunohistochemical marker for microglia in both cell cultures and in formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Antibodies to coronin-1a effectively immunostained microglia in human, monkey, horse, rat, and mouse tissues, even in tissues stored for long periods of time. The identity of coronin-1a-immunoreactive cells as microglia was confirmed using double immunolabeling with cell type-specific markers as well as by morphological features and the distribution of immunoreactive cells. These properties are shared by another actin-binding protein, IBA-1. Unlike IBA-1, coronin-1a immunoreactivity was also detected in lymphocytes and certain other hematopoietic cells. The results indicate that both coronin-1a and IBA-1 are robust markers for microglia that can be used in routinely processed tissue of humans and animals. Because both coronin-1a and IBA-1 are actin-binding proteins that play a role in rearrangement of the membrane cytoskeleton, it suggests that these proteins are critical to dynamic properties of microglia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Dogs
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Species Specificity


  • Actins
  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • coronin proteins