Characterization of a polyclonal antibody to the μ opioid receptor

Rhoda Maneckjee, Sydney Archer, R. Suzanne Zukin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Active opioid receptors have been solubilized from bovine striatal synaptosomal membranes and purified approximately 4000-fold using a combination of affinity and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The affinity column was constructed by attaching hybromet, a newly synthesized opioid ligand with high affinity for the μ receptor, to a solid support matrix. A polyclonal antibody was generated to opioid receptors by injection of the purified receptor preparation into female New Zealand rabbits. The specificity of the antiserum was demonstrated by receptor competition and immunoprecipitation studies. Immunological titration of opioid binding activity from rat brain showed that the antibody was able to displace specific binding of [3H]etorphine (universal opioid) and [3H]dihydromorphine (μ opioid) from rat membranes, but was ineffective against the binding of [3H]ethylketocyclazocine (κ opioid), [3H]d-Ala2,d-Leu5-enkephalin (δ opioid) or [3H]phencyclidine (phencyclidine/σ receptor ligand). The antibody was able to precipitate the Mr 94 000 component of the 125I-labeled affinity-purified receptor, a finding which suggests that this subunit may be an opioid recognition component. By indirect immunofluorescence, the antibody was shown to bind specifically to the plasma membranes of the neurotumor cell line NCB-20 (neuroblastoma × Chinese hamster brain hybrid cells), which has high affinity opioid receptors. The observed fluorescence in the neuroblastoma cells was prevented by pre-adsorption of the antibody with purified receptor from rat brain. These results indicate that the antibody is specific for opioid receptors and may prove useful in the precise localization of opioid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems by immunohistochemical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1988


  • Neuroimmunology
  • Opioid receptor
  • Polyclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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