Immunochemical localization of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in mouse brain

J Chem Neuroanat. 2017 Oct:83-84:82-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2016.11.003. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2, SLC18A2) is a transmembrane transporter protein that packages dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine into vesicles in preparation for neurotransmitter release from the presynaptic neuron. VMAT2 function and related vesicle dynamics have been linked to susceptibility to oxidative stress, exogenous toxicants, and Parkinson's disease. To address a recent depletion of commonly used antibodies to VMAT2, we generated and characterized a novel rabbit polyclonal antibody generated against a 19 amino acid epitope corresponding to an antigenic sequence within the C-terminal tail of mouse VMAT2. We used genetic models of altered VMAT2 expression to demonstrate that the antibody specifically recognizes VMAT2 and localizes to synaptic vesicles. Furthermore, immunohistochemical labeling using this VMAT2 antibody produces immunoreactivity that is consistent with expected VMAT2 regional distribution. We show the distribution of VMAT2 in monoaminergic brain regions of mouse brain, notably the midbrain, striatum, olfactory tubercle, dopaminergic paraventricular nuclei, tuberomammillary nucleus, raphe nucleus, and locus coeruleus. Normal neurotransmitter vesicle dynamics are critical for proper health and functioning of the nervous system, and this well-characterized VMAT2 antibody will be a useful tool in studying neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions characterized by vesicular dysfunction.

Keywords: Antibody; Brain; Immunochemistry; Localization; Monoamine; VMAT2; Vesicle; Vesicular monoamine transporter 2.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins / analysis
  • Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins / biosynthesis*


  • Antibodies
  • Slc18a2 protein, mouse
  • Vesicular Monoamine Transport Proteins