This invention includes the generation and use of monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize either arginine vasopressin (AVP) or oxytocin (OT) when bound to neurophysins. The neurophysins (NPs) are a family of proteins that bind to hormones as they are released from the hypothalamus and make their way to the pituitary gland. Monoclonal antibodies were generated that specifically recognize vasopressin bound to a neurophysin (NP-AVP) or oxytocin bound to a neurophysin (NP-OT). Seven monoclonal antibodies were characterized. The PS41 and PS45 antibodies were found to specifically detect NP-AVP and the PS38 antibody specifically detects NP-OT.
The monoclonal antibodies can be used in R1A, immunoblot, and immunohistochemistry assays to detect specific forms of neurophysin bound to either vasopressin or oxytocin.
No other antibody with these specificities exists commercially.