A specific and sensitive double-immunofluorescence method for the demonstration of S-antigen and serotonin in trout and rat pinealocytes by means of primary antibodies from the same donor species

Histochem Cell Biol. 1998 Apr;109(4):309-17. doi: 10.1007/s004180050231.


Immunocytochemical double-labeling methods are important tools in cell and neurobiology. Here we describe a method which is based on double immunofluorescence and allows specific detection of two different antigens located in the same cell compartment by two primary antibodies raised in the same species. As an example, we present the double-immunolabeling method for the S-antigen (SAg), a photoreceptor-specific protein, and the indoleamine serotonin (5HT) in dissociated trout and rat pineal cells immobilized on coverslipped and in frozen sections of the trout pineal organ. As a first step, the preparations on the slides or coverslips were sequentially incubated with the first primary antibody (rabbit anti-SAg), the fluorescein-labeled (anti-rabbit) secondary antibody, and then with normal rabbit serum. Meanwhile, the second primary antibody (rabbit anti-5HT) was coupled to a Cy3-labeled secondary (anti-rabbit) antibody in a reaction tube and excess binding sites were quenched with normal rabbit serum. This complex was applied to the specimens after completion of the first (SAg) immunoreaction on the slide. For control experiments, the first (anti-SAg) or the second (anti-5HT) primary antibody were omitted. Most of the rat and trout pinealocytes were double immunolabeled for SAg and 5HT. In the trout, few cells contained SAg or 5HT immunoreaction only. This underlines the selectivity of each immunoreaction. The results show that the method can be used for the analysis of whole cells and tissue sections by means of conventional fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Arrestin / analysis*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect*
  • Frozen Sections
  • Male
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Pineal Gland / chemistry*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serotonin / analysis*


  • Antibodies
  • Arrestin
  • Serotonin