Clonidine-specific antisera recognize an endogenous clonidine-displacing substance in brain.
An endogenous substance in brain, clonidine-displacing substance, binds to the same receptor populations as clonidine and is biologically active. Since receptor binding sites can be modeled by using specific antiligand antibodies, we tested the hypothesis that polyclonal antibodies raised in rat and rabbit against the clonidine analog p-aminoclonidine coupled to hemocyanin would recognize compounds structurally related to clonidine, including clonidine-displacing substance. Binding to anti-p-aminoclonidine antibodies was examined by using a competitive radioimmunoassay with tritiated p-aminoclonidine as the radioligand. Central vasodepressor agents that, like clonidine, are known to bind with high affinity to both imidazole sites and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors in brain inhibited radioligand binding to anti-p-aminoclonidine antibodies. All of these agents contain imidazol(in)e and phenyl ring moieties as part of their chemical structures (e.g., oxymetazoline); a number of other compounds without one or both of these rings failed to cross-react with the antisera. Clonidine-displacing substance, partially purified from bovine brain, also inhibited specific radioligand binding to anti-p-aminoclonidine antibodies. The inhibition was dose dependent and high affinity (IC50, 4 Units). The endogenous substance had no effect on the apparent affinity of the antibodies for the radioligand, but blocked a specific number of binding sites. Immunoprecipitation experiments showed that authentic clonidine-displacing substance, that which displaces tritiated p-aminoclonidine binding to membrane receptors, is recognized by anti-p-aminoclonidine antibodies. We conclude that a unique subset of structural determinants required for ligand interaction with both imidazole and alpha 2-adrenergic receptors is critical for binding to anti-p-aminoclonidine antibodies, and that since clonidine-displacing substance is recognized by highly clonidine-specific antisera, it may also contain these determinants within its structure, namely the imidazol(in)e and phenyl ring systems.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association