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Front Pharmacol. 2013 Feb 6;4:6. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2013.00006. eCollection 2013.

A comparative antibody analysis of pannexin1 expression in four rat brain regions reveals varying subcellular localizations.

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National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, Center for Research in Biological Systems, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Pannexin1 (Panx1) channels release cytosolic ATP in response to signaling pathways. Panx1 is highly expressed in the central nervous system. We used four antibodies with different Panx1 anti-peptide epitopes to analyze four regions of rat brain. These antibodies labeled the same bands in Western blots and had highly similar patterns of immunofluorescence in tissue culture cells expressing Panx1, but Western blots of brain lysates from Panx1 knockout and control mice showed different banding patterns. Localizations of Panx1 in brain slices were generated using automated wide field mosaic confocal microscopy for imaging large regions of interest while retaining maximum resolution for examining cell populations and compartments. We compared Panx1 expression over the cerebellum, hippocampus with adjacent cortex, thalamus, and olfactory bulb. While Panx1 localizes to the same neuronal cell types, subcellular localizations differ. Two antibodies with epitopes against the intracellular loop and one against the carboxy terminus preferentially labeled cell bodies, while an antibody raised against an N-terminal peptide highlighted neuronal processes more than cell bodies. These labeling patterns may be a reflection of different cellular and subcellular localizations of full-length and/or modified Panx1 channels where each antibody is highlighting unique or differentially accessible Panx1 populations. However, we cannot rule out that one or more of these antibodies have specificity issues. All data associated with experiments from these four antibodies are presented in a manner that allows them to be compared and our claims thoroughly evaluated, rather than eliminating results that were questionable. Each antibody is given a unique identifier through the NIF Antibody Registry that can be used to track usage of individual antibodies across papers and all image and metadata are made available in the public repository, the Cell Centered Database, for on-line viewing, and download.


ATP signaling; connexin; knockout mouse; large field mosaic fluorescent imaging; pannexin channels; paracrine signaling; purinergic receptors

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