Cell characterization of primary cultures in vertebrates is well established but not in marine invertebrates. This fact is hampering advances in the development of tissue cultures from this species. In the present study, a panel of antibodies to structural proteins, stress proteins, oncogenes and proliferation antigens, developed against mammalian antigens, were tested in paraffin sections of the crustacean
Pandalus borealistissues. Several tissues were analysed: hepatopancreas, gills, ovaries, epithelium under the cuticle and abdominal muscle. Specific antibodies to crustacean proteins are not commercially available. The immunocytochemical results show that antibodies to human epitopes cross‐react with antigens in the crustacean Pandalus borealisindicating that some cellular proteins are highly conserved in evolution. Cytokeratin, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, rasand p‐glycoprotein were detected by immunocytochemistry in Pandalus borealis. No immunoreactivity for Ki‐67 and metallothionein was observed. This system can help in validation and characterization of invertebrate cultures. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.