Future of immunoelectron microscopy

Applications of immunolabeling procedures can be found in many scientific disciplines involving ultra-structural studies of biological structure and function. The use of labeled immunological probes in conjunction with electron microscopy has made many contributions to our overall understanding of the antigen composition and structure of cells and tissues in various pathologic states. In addition, immunoelectron microscopy has helped to resolve the structure of pathogens and understand pathogen-host interactions in various disease states. Although immunoelectron microscopy in the strictest sense implies that antibodies are used, there are a variety of other macromolecules that have been used in studies of receptor-ligand interactions. No doubt, with advances in molecular biology, the discovery, definition and availability of new ligands will continue at an increasing pace and be used in localization studies by electron microscopy. The use of immunoelectron microscopy, aided by highly specific monoclonal antibodies and genetically engineered probes, will continue to advance our knowledge of cellular and molecular structures and be an important tool in immunocytochemistry and histo-pathology.

See also: Affinity chromatography; Antibodies, detection of; Antiserum; Bacterial immunoglobulin-binding proteins; Enzyme labeling of antibodies and antigens; Fc receptors; Fluorochrome labeling; IgG; Immunocytochemistry and enzyme markers; Lectins; Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs).

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