The P2X4 purinergic receptor is a key molecule in neuropathic pain, particularly in the allodynia after peripheral nerve injury. We therefore sought to establish an anti-P2X4 receptor monoclonal antibody that would be useful for detection and characterization of the P2X4 receptor. We first prepared the refolded extracellular domain of the rat P2X4 receptor expressed in Escherichia coli. Then, we established a B-cell hybridoma producing the monoclonal antibody for the head domain of the rat P2X4 receptor with strict recognition, including S-S bond formation. In addition, we succeeded in the detection and immune precipitation of rat P2X4 receptor molecules on cultured cells. As the antibody specifically binds to the rat P2X4 receptor molecule, it is expected that the established monoclonal antibody will be applicable as a tool for detecting increasing expression levels of the P2X4 receptor molecule accompanied with increasing intensity of neuropathic pain.
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