Monoclonal antibodies to keratan sulfate immunolocalize ramified microglia in paraffin and cryostat sections of rat brain

J Histochem Cytochem. 1993 Apr;41(4):481-7. doi: 10.1177/41.4.8450191.


We used six monoclonal antibodies (MAb) recognizing epitopes within keratan sulfate (KS) chains for an immunocytochemical study of adult rat brain. One of the MAb selectively stained microglia and their ramified processes. KS-positive cells were found throughout the CNS in both paraffin-embedded and cryostat sections; the greatest number were present in hippocampus and brainstem. In the cortex the positive processes of some cells surrounded neuronal somata. In the white matter the processes were both parallel and perpendicular to the axon bundles. Double staining showed that KS-positive cells did not express astrocytic or oligodendroglial markers. By immunoelectron microscopy, the positivity was localized around the perikarya and cell processes of small cells with peripheral chromatin clumps and dark cytoplasm, which often contained secondary lysosomes. The KS-positive cells did not contribute to myelin sheaths and were not surrounded by a basal membrane. In addition to the cellular staining, three other MAb stained the white matter diffusely. Anti-KS MAb are therefore proposed as immunohistochemical markers for ramified microglia in both paraffin and cryostat sections of adult rat brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Frozen Sections
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Keratan Sulfate / analysis*
  • Keratan Sulfate / immunology
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Neuroglia / chemistry
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Rats


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Keratan Sulfate
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • keratinase