Should we be cautious on the use of commercially available antibodies to dopamine receptors?

Serena Bodei, Nicola Arrighi, Pierfranco Spano, Sandra Sigala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence indicate that it is difficult to obtain specific antibodies to G protein-coupled receptors and different technical difficulties may allow the generation of antibodies that lack specificity. We conducted experiments to validate the specificity of commercially available antibodies raised against dopamine (DA) receptors hD1, hD4, and hD5 using a transfection approach: we studied whether, in HEK 293 cells selectively transfected with the various cloned subtypes, each antibody generates bands only in cells expressing its cognate receptor but not in those expressing the other DA receptors. Our results demonstrated that hD1 and hD4 receptor antibodies recognize not only their respective epitope, but also other DA receptor subtypes, while for the hD5 receptor detection, we observed a signal only in the lane loaded with hD5-transfected HEK 293 cells, although with a lack of purity. Therefore, we recommend caution on the use of commercially available DA receptor antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-415
Number of pages3
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Dopamine receptors
  • Selectivity
  • Western blot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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