Detection of the Ki-67 antigen in fixed and wax-embedded sections with the monoclonal antibody MIB1

Histopathology. 1993 Apr;22(4):355-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.1993.tb00135.x.


Novel antibodies have been generated by immunizing with bacterially expressed fragments of the repetitive motif of the Ki-67 gene. One such antibody, MIB1, recognizes a fixation and embedding resistant epitope on the Ki-67 protein if sections are previously microwaved in a citrate buffer. We have investigated the utility of this antibody as a marker of cell proliferation in archival material. The microwave technique is simple but requires careful monitoring since different tissues and fixatives require different irradiation times. Strong nuclear immunoreactivity was detected with all fixatives studied. Cytoplasmic staining was not identified. In a wide range of normal tissues the distribution and number of MIB1 immunoreactive cells matched that of cryostat sections stained with Ki-67. In nude mouse xenografts in which the growth fraction had been defined using a fraction of labelled mitosis method, the labelling index with MIB1 matched that previously determined for Ki-67 and correlated well with the growth fraction. Other markers of proliferation (e.g. proliferating cell nuclear antigen) have been shown to be expressed in DNA repair, thus we investigated expression of MIB1 immunoreactivity in situations of DNA repair in vivo--ultraviolet irradiated human skin. MIB1 staining correlated with semi-conservative DNA synthesis rather than excision repair DNA synthesis. Finally, the morphological and cell cycle distribution of MIB1 expression is identical to that of Ki-67. Thus, MIB1 represents a new anti-Ki-67 antibody which appears to be a robust marker of cell proliferation easily applicable to archival material.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers*
  • Cell Division*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / analysis*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins