Immunohistochemical identification of mast cells in formaldehyde-fixed tissue using monoclonal antibodies specific for tryptase

J Pathol. 1990 Oct;162(2):119-26. doi: 10.1002/path.1711620204.


An avidin-biotin enhanced immunoperoxidase procedure using monoclonal antibodies (AA1, AA3, and AA5) prepared against human mast cell tryptase resulted in intense staining of mast cells in paraffin-embedded tissue. The distribution of mast cells observed was similar to that seen when adjacent serial sections were stained using a standard procedure with toluidine blue, though the immunoperoxidase technique permitted the identification of significantly more mast cells. With monoclonal antibody AA1, immunostaining was entirely specific for mast cell granules, and there was negligible background staining in a range of tissues including lung, tonsil, colon, gastric mucosa, skin, and pituitary. There was no staining of antibody on basophils or on any other normal blood leukocyte. The technique was effective with tissue fixed in either Carnoy's or neutral buffered formalin, though the internal mast cell structure was better preserved with formaldehyde fixation. The immunoperoxidase staining procedure with monoclonal antibody AA1 is a highly specific and sensitive means for the detection of mast cells in routinely processed tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Infant
  • Lung / cytology
  • Mast Cells / enzymology*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / analysis*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • tosylarginine methyl ester hydrolase