Antibody staining of the central nervous system in adult Drosophila

Sean T Sweeney, Alicia Hidalgo, J Steven de Belle, Haig Keshishian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Drosophila nervous system provides a valuable model for studying various aspects of brain development and function. The postembryonic Drosophila brain is especially useful, because specific neuron types derive from specific progenitors at specific times. Elucidating the means by which diverse neuron types derive from a limited number of progenitors can contribute significantly to our understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in developmental neurobiology. Antibody-labeling techniques are particularly useful for examining the Drosophila brain. These methods generally use primary antibodies specific to a protein or a structure of interest and a fluorescently labeled or enzyme-coupled secondary antibody to detect the primary antibodies. Immunofluorescence methods allow for simultaneous probing for multiple antigens using different fluorophores, as well as high-resolution confocal examination of deep structures. This protocol describes general procedures for antibody labeling of neural tissue from Drosophila, as well as visualization techniques for fluorescent and enzyme-linked probes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-8
Number of pages4
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Central Nervous System
  • Developmental Biology
  • Drosophila
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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