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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1999 Jun 8;69(2):186-201.

Production and characterization of an anti-serotonin 1A receptor antibody which detects functional 5-HT1A binding sites.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


We describe the production and characterization of a specific anti-5-HT1A receptor antibody made against a fusion protein consisting of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) coupled to a 75-amino acid sequence from the middle portion of the third intracellular loop (5-HT1A-m3i, serine253-arginine327) of the rat 5-HT1A receptor protein. This region was chosen to avoid putative phosphorylation and glycosylation sites and regions of known homology with other 5-HT receptors. Western blot analysis indicated that the polyclonal anti-5-HT1A-m3i antibody accurately recognized the fusion protein expressed in bacteria and labeled a prominent 67 kDa protein band in the hippocampus, cortex, brainstem, cerebellum and kidney with a density profile corresponding to the relative abundance of the 5-HT1A receptor in these tissues. No protein was detected in liver or muscle tissue preparations, and no protein bands were labeled in any of the above tissues following preabsorption of the antibody with the 5-HT1A-m3i fusion protein. Immunohistochemistry revealed prominent labeling in limbic structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex, and septum as well as in raphe nuclei. In the hippocampus, 5-HT1A-m3i labeling revealed a characteristic laminar pattern that coincided with that seen by autoradiographic binding of the 5-HT1A agonist [3H]-8-OH-DPAT in all strata of the hippocampal formation. In the dorsal and medial raphe nuclei, anti-5-HT1A-m3i antibodies labeled the somatodendritic membranes of 5-HT neurons, consistent with its role as an autoreceptor. The detailed matching of the anti-5-HT1A-m3i antibody with [3H]-8-OH-DPAT binding suggests that the antibody recognizes a functionally active form of the 5-HT1A receptor protein capable of binding 5-HT1A agonist ligands. These anti-5-HT1A antibodies may therefore be useful tools in localizing functional 5-HT1A receptors in specific regions of the brain as well as in studying the plasticity and ontogeny of the 5-HT1A receptor at the cellular and subcellular level.

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