Immunohistochemical studies on intact embryonic material offers the same advantages as similar in situ hybridization techniques, namely that spatial relationships of tissues expressing the antigen of interest are more readily appreciated (see Fig. 1). In addition, the lack of prior processing and sectioning of material considerably reduces the time required for such analyses, and material can still be sectioned subsequently if required. However, it should be noted that relatively few antibodies or antisera are suitable for this technique owing to crossreactivity with other antigens, low affinity, or low titer. Crossreactivity, even with low affinity produces unacceptable levels of nonspecific or "background" staining, and is most commonly a feature of polyclonal antisera. Thus, although relatively few monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are high affinity and high titer, it is this type of reagent that is most frequently suitable for use on intact embryos. The procedure described below is slightly modified from that in refs. 1 and 2.
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