Thrombospondin-1 (TSP) is a 450-KD glycoprotein that was initially discovered in the platelet α-granule. It now appears that TSP is intimately involved in the regulation of a variety of cellular functions and cell-to- cell interactions. Recently, it has been demonstrated that TSP functions as a p53-dependent inhibitor of angiogenesis in cultured fibroblasts from Li- Fraumeni patients and therefore may be an important factor involved with tumor invasion and metastasis. It has previously been demonstrated that TSP can be detected in frozen tissue sections by immunohistochemical methods. Our objective in this study was to determine the optimal antigen retrieval (AR) protocol for detection of TSP in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue by using tissue sections from patients with invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. The optimal AR protocol was determined utilizing a variety of heating conditions and antigen retrieval buffers. Our results demonstrate that TSP can be reliably detected in paraffin-embedded tissue by immunohistochemical techniques that utilize AR with high-temperature microwave heating and a low-pH Tris-HCl buffer. The importance of this method is that it allows the reliable detection of TSP in archival tissue. This should facilitate further investigation into TSP's role in the regulation of cellular processes, including its influence on tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.
- Antigen retrieval