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Application Of The FITC-anti-FITC-gold System To Ultrastructural Localization Of Antigens.

G J van Dam, B J Bogitsh, J A Fransen, D Kornelis, R J van Zeyl, A M Deelder

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We report the application of a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-anti-FITC method to localize antigens at the ultrastructural level. In the systems studied, the anti-FITC-based detection method displays high specificity and sensitivity. These observations, combined with ease of production and with availability of FITC-protein conjugates, suggest that the FITC-anti-FITC method is a good alternative to presently used methods and is widely applicable to immunochemical and immunocytochemical procedures. The same preparation and protocol can be used for light and electron microscopic studies, thereby reducing possible artifacts introduced if different procedures are used. In the present study, two systems were used to test the method. One system used an FITC-labeled monoclonal antibody (MAb) to schistosome circulating cathodic antigen. In this system, the label was detected in the gut of adult Schistosoma mansoni by an anti-FITC MAb conjugated to 10-nm gold particles. The second system used human IgM antibodies pooled from patients infected with Schistosoma mansoni. In this system detection was accomplished using an anti-human IgM-FITC conjugate followed by the anti-FITC-Au antibody conjugate.