Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies to N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate

C. G. Frondoza, S. Logan, G. Forloni, J. T. Coyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) is a putative neuro-modulator/neurotransmitter in the mammalian nervous system. Immunohistochemical studies with polyclonal NAAG antisera have revealed immunoreactive neurons and processes in several brain regions. However, these antisera crossreact to some degree with N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), which is present in mM concentrations in brain, prompting the development of monoclonal antibodies (MAb) more specific for NAAG. By fusing spleen lymphocytes obtained from BALB/c mice pre-immunized with NAAG covalently linked to bovine serum albumin by carbodiimide with SP2/0-Ag 14 mouse myeloma cells, we produced three IgG2(a) (kappa) MAb which specifically reacted with NAAG. These MAb exhibited negligible crossreactivity with NAA or with structurally similar peptides, as shown by solid-phase radioimmunoassay. Antibody activity was absorbed out selectively by both NAAG-thyroglobulin conjugates and free NAAG. These MAb stained many nuclei of the medulla-pons and midbrain, mitral cells in the olfactory bulb, pyramidal neurons in sensorimotor cortex, locus ceruleus, and several cholinergic cranial nuclei. The staining pattern strongly correlated with NAAG levels determined by HPLC. Monoclonal antibodies significantly enhanced sensitivity of staining, allowing visualization of dorsal horn neurons in spinal cord, which were not readily detectable with polyclonal antiserum. Availability of these MAb now facilitates further clarification of the role of NAAG in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-502
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Lateral olfactory tract
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate
  • Neuropeptide
  • Olfactory bulb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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