Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 330, Issue 2, pp 291–302 | Cite as

Allograft inflammatory factor-1/Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 is specifically expressed by most subpopulations of macrophages and spermatids in testis

  • Christoph Köhler
Regular Article


Ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1) is a 147-amino-acid calcium-binding protein widely in use as a marker for microglia. It has actin-crosslinking activity and is involved in aspects of motility-associated rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. The Iba1 gene and protein are identical to allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1), a protein involved in various aspects of inflammation, which was investigated independently from Iba1. Although regarded to be monocyte/macrophage-specific, expression by germ cells in testis showed that AIF-1/Iba1 is not exclusively expressed by cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Furthermore, AIF-1 was found in cells not belonging to the monocyte/macrophage lineage under pathological conditions. Here, the distribution of AIF-1/Iba1 in the normal mouse has been examined, by immunohistochemistry, to determine whether AIF-1/Iba1 expression is confined to macrophages and spermatids. Spermatids are the only cells not belonging to the monocyte/macrophage lineage found to express AIF-1/Iba1 in the normal mouse, by this method. This study has not demonstrated AIF-1/Iba1 expression in dendritic cells, although this protein might be expressed by subsets of dendritic cells. AIF-1/Iba1 can be regarded a “pan-macrophage marker” because, except for alveolar macrophages, all subpopulations of macrophages examined express AIF-1/Iba1.


Iba1 AIF-1 Macrophages Lymph nodes Mouse (Black Swiss, C57BL/6) 



The author thanks Dr. Y. Imai for kindly providing the Iba1 antibody and for critical reading of the manuscript, Prof. H. Schröder for critical reading of the manuscript and M. Dinekov for excellent technical assistance. N. Lindemann’s help with the confocal microscope is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute II of AnatomyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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