We describe a simple and convenient enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of apoptosis in tissue culture. An early event in apoptosis is DNA fragmentation followed by release of nucleosomes into the cytoplasm. Our sandwich assay uses a pair of monoclonal antibodies specific for two nucleosomal epitopes to capture and detect cytoplasmic nucleosomes onto the ELISA plate. Our assay is about 500 times more sensitive than the detection of apoptotic DNA ladder by agarose electrophoresis and is especially suited for the testing of large numbers of samples.
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