An immunohistochemical method for identifying fibroblasts in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue

J Histochem Cytochem. 2008 Apr;56(4):347-58. doi: 10.1369/jhc.7A7287.2007. Epub 2007 Dec 10.


Fibroblasts are critical for tissue homeostasis, and their inappropriate proliferation and activation can result in common and debilitating conditions including fibrosis and cancer. We currently have a poor understanding of the mechanisms that control the growth and activation of fibroblasts in vivo, in part because of a lack of suitable fibroblast markers. We have taken advantage of an antibody previously shown to stain stromal cells in frozen tissues (TE-7) and identified conditions in which it can be used to stain fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in the paraffin-embedded tissue samples routinely collected for pathological analysis. We show that this antibody recognizes growing and quiescent fibroblasts and myofibroblasts by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and ELISA assays. We also present its staining patterns in normal tissue samples and in breast tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Connective Tissue Cells / cytology
  • Coronary Vessels / cytology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Skin / cytology
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / cytology


  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde