Introduction to immunohistochemistry (IHC)

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a method for demonstrating the distribution and localization of antigens (such as proteins) in tissue sections using antibody-antigen interactions.

​​This is especially useful for diagnosing abnormal cells in diseases such as cancer. In general, the information gained from IHC provides a valuable perspective that provide context for data obtained using other methods.

Immunohistochemical staining is accomplished with antibodies that recognize the target antigen. Since antibodies are highly specific, the antibody will bind only to the antigen of interest in the tissue section. The antibody-antigen interaction is then visualized using either chromogenic detection, in which an enzyme conjugated to the antibody catalyzes the conversion of a substrate to produce a colored precipitate at the location of the antigen, or fluorescent detection, in which a fluorophore is conjugated to the antibody and can be visualized using fluorescence microscopy.

Our immunohistochemistry guide takes you through all the steps in the IHC workflow and includes links to some of our other IHC resources, such as protocols and webinars. 

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