staining for dendrite and axon

Matthew Kirkcaldie m.kirkcaldie at
Mon Mar 15 22:03:45 EST 2004

In article <Xns94AE9EE50B9BABilZ0rhotmailcom at>,
 BilZ0r <BilZ0r at> wrote:

> MAP-2 yes.
> Tau... I don't know.
> myang3 at (Mong-Lin Yang) wrote in news:4f849c85.0403101802.1bddfb09
> > Hi,
> >     Does anyone know a good way of descerning dendrite or axon by
> > staining? Is it correct that Map-2 antibody stains only dendrite and
> > Tau antibody stains only axon? thanks!

MAP-2 is a definitive dendrite label; postsynaptic proteins are also 
useful but less ubiquitous.  Axons are tougher - I don't think tau is 
present in every axon (it's also a MAP, by the way).  I have heard of 
the use of an antibody to alpha-acetylated tubulin as a reliable axon 
marker - but I have no experience with it.  You should look that one up 
and see if it's suitable.



(PS: Did you know that if you destabilise the cytoskeleton of a 
developing dendrite it turns into an axon?  So you can make neurons with 
multiple axons using appropriate manipulations in culture.  Just a bit 
of trivia.)

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