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Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 22;10(1):915. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-57757-6.

A high sensitivity ZENK monoclonal antibody to map neuronal activity in Aves.

Author information

1
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1, 1030, Vienna, Austria.
2
Monoclonal Antibody Facility, Max Perutz Labs, Medical University of Vienna, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 9, 1030, Vienna, Austria.
3
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Campus-Vienna-Biocenter 1, 1030, Vienna, Austria. keays@imp.ac.at.

Abstract

The transcription factor ZENK is an immediate early gene that has been employed as a surrogate marker to map neuronal activity in the brain. It has been used in a wide variety of species, however, commercially available antibodies have limited immunoreactivity in birds. To address this issue we generated a new mouse monoclonal antibody, 7B7-A3, raised against ZENK from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). We show that 7B7-A3 labels clZENK in both immunoblots and histological stainings with high sensitivity and selectivity for its target. Using a sound stimulation paradigm we demonstrate that 7B7-A3 can detect activity-dependent ZENK expression at key stations of the central auditory pathway of the pigeon. Finally, we compare staining efficiency across three avian species and confirm that 7B7-A3 is compatible with immunohistochemical detection of ZENK in the rock pigeon, zebra finch, and domestic chicken. Taken together, 7B7-A3 represents a useful tool for the avian neuroscience community to map functional activity in the brain.

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