Monoclonal antiadenosine receptor antibodies have been raised by an auto-anti-idiotypic approach. BALB/c mice were immunized with adenosine 6-aminocaproyl-bovine serum albumin. Hybridoma cell lines were raised and lines that secreted antibodies that bound to rabbit antiadenosine antibodies were obtained. Two such monoclonal antibodies, AA18 and AA21, were studied in detail and found to be directed at adenosine receptors by the following criteria. They inhibited the binding of [3H] adenosine to rabbit antiadenosine antibodies that had binding characteristics similar to those of adenosine receptors. They bound to rat brain membranes and binding could be inhibited by N6-cyclohexyladenosine and L-N6-phenylisopropyladenosine, both adenosine receptor agonists. They also inhibited the binding of [3H]L-N6-phenylisopropyladenosine to rat brain membranes. In functional assays, they inhibited adenylate cyclase of rat brain membranes, but had no effect on adenylate cyclase of rat hepatic membranes, indicating that they mimic agonists of the A1 receptor, therefore, carrying an "internal image" of the adenosine molecule. When adenosine receptors of rat brain membranes were solubilized with 1% cholic acid, partially purified on an adenosine 6-aminocaproyl AH-Sepharose column and analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting, both AA18 and AA21 recognized a 62,000 band under nonreducing conditions, and a major band of 36,000 under reducing conditions. We conclude that the auto-anti-idiotypic route has yielded specific antibodies that recognize the A1 adenosine receptor.

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