Immunocytochemical localization of the β3 subunit of the γ- aminobutyric acid(A) receptor in the rat brain

Celia P. Miralles, Ming Li, Ashok K. Mehta, Zafar U. Khan, Angel L. De Blas

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55 Scopus citations


A novel anti-β3 subunit-specific GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) antibody has been prepared by immunizing a rabbit with a bacterial fusion protein of the large intracellular loop of the β3 subunit. The antiserum immunoprecipitated the solubilized GABA(A) receptor. The anti-β3 antibody was affinity purified on immobilized β3 large intracellular loop peptide. In immunoblots, the purified antibody reacted with a 57 KDa peptide. Immunocytochemistry with the affinity-purified antibody has revealed the localization of the β3 subunit in the rat brain. A comparative study with the immunocytochemical distribution of the β2 subunit has also been performed. There are areas of the brain and cell types where the distribution of β2 and β3 overlap (i.e., cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and most layers of the olfactory bulb). There are also clear differences in the expression of β3 and β2 in other brain areas and cell types. Thus, high β3 but low or no β2 expression was observed in the corpus striatum and in granule cells of the olfactory bulb. In the hippocampus the expression of β3 was considerably higher than that of β2, but some hippocampal interneurons showed high expression of β2. High β2 but little or no expression of β3 was observed in thalamic nuclei, substantia nigra, globus pallidus, inferior colliculus and the short axon cells of the olfactory bulb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-548
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999


  • Antibody
  • Benzodiazepine receptor
  • Fusion protein
  • GABA(A) receptor
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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