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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antisera to gamma-aminobutyric acid. I. Production and characterization using a new model system.

Antisera to the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) have been developed with the aim of immunohistochemical visualization of neurons that use it as a neurotransmitter. GABA bound to bovine serum albumin was the immunogen. The reactivities of the sera to GABA and a variety of structurally related compounds were tested by coupling these compounds to nitrocellulose paper activated with polylysine and glutaraldehyde and incubating the paper with the unlabeled antibody enzyme method, thus simulating immunohistochemistry of tissue sections. The antisera did not react with L-glutamate, L-aspartate, D-aspartate, glycine, taurine, L-glutamine, L-lysine, L-threonine, L-alanine, alpha-aminobutyrate, beta-aminobutyrate, putrescine, or delta-aminolevulinate. There was cross-reaction with gamma-amino-beta-hydroxybutyrate, 1-10%, and the homologues of GABA: beta-alanine, 1-10%, delta-aminovalerate, approximately 10%, and epsilon-amino-caproate, approximately 10%. The antisera reacted slightly with the dipeptide gamma-aminobutyrylleucine, but not carnosine or homocarnosine. Immunostaining of GABA was completely abolished by adsorption of the sera to GABA coupled to polyacrylamide beads by glutaraldehyde. The immunohistochemical model is simple, amino acids and peptides are bound in the same way as in aldehyde-fixed tissue and, in contrast to radioimmunoassay, it uses an immunohistochemical detection system. This method has enabled us to define the high specificity of anti-GABA sera and to use them in some novel ways. The model should prove useful in assessing the specificity of other antisera.[1]


  1. Antisera to gamma-aminobutyric acid. I. Production and characterization using a new model system. Hodgson, A.J., Penke, B., Erdei, A., Chubb, I.W., Somogyi, P. J. Histochem. Cytochem. (1985) [Pubmed]
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