Multiple immunoenzyme staining techniques. Use of fluoresceinated, biotinylated and unlabelled monoclonal antibodies

J Immunol Methods. 1989 Feb 8;117(1):45-52. doi: 10.1016/0022-1759(89)90117-8.


Simultaneous detection of multiple tissue epitopes with an overlapping distribution pattern by monoclonal antibodies is sometimes needed for routine immunohistological evaluations. Therefore, multistep double and triple immunoenzymatic methods using antibodies from the same species or Ig (sub)class have been developed. Since only commercially available monoclonal antibodies (either unlabelled, biotinylated or as fluorescein conjugate) have been used, the techniques may be regarded as generally applicable. The staining protocol for double staining consists of six incubation steps: (1) unlabelled monoclonal antibody 1; (2) enzyme I-conjugated anti-mouse Ig; (3) normal mouse serum--for blocking; (4) fluoresceinated monoclonal antibody 2; (5) rabbit anti-fluorescein isothiocyanate--employing the fluorochrome as hapten; (6) enzyme II-conjugated anti-rabbit Ig. For enzymes I and II, peroxidase, alkaline phosphatase and beta-galactosidase can be applied; excellent results were obtained with the following colour combinations: peroxidase activity in red/alkaline phosphatase in blue and beta-galactosidase in green/alkaline phosphatase in violet. Moreover, this double staining method can be extended to provide an immunoenzyme triple staining technique by mixing biotinylated monoclonal antibody 3 and avidin-biotin enzyme III complex with the steps 4 and 5 reagents, respectively. In this way three tissue epitopes can simultaneously be detected clearly and selectively in green (beta-galactosidase), blue (alkaline phosphatase) and red (peroxidase).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Biotin*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Fluoresceins*
  • Goats
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques*
  • Mice
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Rabbits
  • Staining and Labeling* / methods
  • Thiocyanates*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Fluoresceins
  • Immune Sera
  • Thiocyanates
  • Biotin
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate