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A high sensitivity ZENK monoclonal antibody to map neuronal activity in Aves.

Scientific reports (2020-01-24)
Gregory Charles Nordmann, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Lukas Landler, Lyubov Ushakova, Simon Nimpf, Robert Heinen, Stefan Schuechner, Egon Ogris, David Anthony Keays
ABSTRACT

The transcription factor ZENK is an immediate early gene that has been employed as a surrogate marker to map neuronal activity in the brain. It has been used in a wide variety of species, however, commercially available antibodies have limited immunoreactivity in birds. To address this issue we generated a new mouse monoclonal antibody, 7B7-A3, raised against ZENK from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). We show that 7B7-A3 labels clZENK in both immunoblots and histological stainings with high sensitivity and selectivity for its target. Using a sound stimulation paradigm we demonstrate that 7B7-A3 can detect activity-dependent ZENK expression at key stations of the central auditory pathway of the pigeon. Finally, we compare staining efficiency across three avian species and confirm that 7B7-A3 is compatible with immunohistochemical detection of ZENK in the rock pigeon, zebra finch, and domestic chicken. Taken together, 7B7-A3 represents a useful tool for the avian neuroscience community to map functional activity in the brain.

MATERIALS
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