This study identifies the actin-binding protein, coronin-1a, as a novel and effective immunohistochemical marker for microglia in both cell cultures and in formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Antibodies to coronin-1a effectively immunostained microglia in human, monkey, horse, rat, and mouse tissues, even in tissues stored for long periods of time. The identity of coronin-1a-immunoreactive cells as microglia was confirmed using double immunolabeling with cell type-specific markers as well as by morphological features and the distribution of immunoreactive cells. These properties are shared by another actin-binding protein, IBA-1. Unlike IBA-1, coronin-1a immunoreactivity was also detected in lymphocytes and certain other hematopoietic cells. The results indicate that both coronin-1a and IBA-1 are robust markers for microglia that can be used in routinely processed tissue of humans and animals. Because both coronin-1a and IBA-1 are actin-binding proteins that play a role in rearrangement of the membrane cytoskeleton, it suggests that these proteins are critical to dynamic properties of microglia.
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