Iba1 vs CD11b for microglia staining?


Staining for microglia after SNI…I know typically Iba1 is used. Can CD11b used as well? What’s the difference? Why do people typically use Iba1?


Hi @ShanTan

Iba1 is the more common marker. Part of why Iba1 is more popular is because there are good and reliable antibodies, namely the rabbit anti-iba1 from Wakoi believe @tberta also said he found an abcam version to be good too. Cd11b is also used as a monocyte marker. It’s also called Ox-42. I recall trying this staining a few years ago and it wasn’t as good as Iba1. Any particular reason you want to try Cd11b over Iba1? If you have both, try them side by side and see which gives you the best staining. You may also try Tmem119, which is a recently discovered microglia marker for which there is a validated antibody from Abcam.


I agree with Alex - the Iba1 staining is superior and it may due to the quality of the antibodies. However, it is worthy to note that Cd11b/Ox42 is a membrane protein, whereas Iba1 is expressed in cytoplasm. Therefore, Iba1 produce a more plain and robust signal in section with small thickness. A general complain of using Iba1 is that the most popular antibody from Wako (#019-19741) is only made in rabbit, so many researchers have used Cd11b made mouse as an alternative in double staining. However, we have now successfully tested the Iba1 made in goat from Novus (# NB100-1028), which is not as good as the Wako antibody but still results in much better staining than the ones obtained with the CD11b antibody.

Iba-1 and GFAP antibodies