Characterization of antisera to glutamate and aspartate

J. R. Hepler, C. S. Toomim, K. D. McCarthy, F. Conti, G. Battaglia, A. Rustioni, P. Petrusz

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Antisera were raised in rabbits against glutamate (Glu) and aspartate (Asp) conjugated to the invertebrate carrier protein hemocyanin (HC) with glutaraldehyde (GA). The antisera were characterized by testing their immunocytochemical staining properties on sections cut at the level of the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) from fixed brains of normal rats after absorption with conjugates of compounds structurally similar and biologically relevant to Glu and Asp. Optimal staining with Glu antiserum was obtained at a dilution of 1:10,000 and was completely blocked by 303 μg/ml of the Glu-HC conjugate. No crossreactivity with any of 11 compounds tested was observed. Optimal staining with the Asp antiserum was obtained at 1:8000 dilution and was completely blocked by 225 μg/ml of the Asp-HC conjugate. Of 10 compounds tested for crossreactivity, only L-asparagine demonstrated a measurable (about 10%) crossreactivity with the Asp antiserum. The specificity of the two antisera was also tested by immunoblot analysis against 11 compounds conjugated to HC with GA. Listed in order of staining intensity, from greatest to least, conjugates that reacted with the Glu antiserum were Glu>Gly-Glu>Asp-Glu=Asp>N-carbamyl (NC)-Glu>Asn=Gln=GABA. Conjugates that reacted with the Asp antiserum, in order to decreasing staining intensity, were Asp>Glu-Asp=Asn>Gly-Asp>Glu. No other compounds tested for crossreactivity reacted with the two antisera in the immunoblot analysis. Glu-like immunoreactivity in rat dorsal root ganglia and somatosensory cortex, and the comparative distribution of Glu- and Asp-like immunoreactivity in the latter tissue, are presented as examples of staining patterns obtained with the two antisera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy


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