UNIT 1.16 Biochemical Fractionation of Brain Tissue for Studies of Receptor Distribution and Trafficking

  1. Penelope J. Hallett,
  2. Tiffany L. Collins,
  3. David G. Standaert,
  4. Anthone W. Dunah

Published Online: 1 JAN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0116s42

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Hallett, P. J., Collins, T. L., Standaert, D. G. and Dunah, A. W. 2008. Biochemical Fractionation of Brain Tissue for Studies of Receptor Distribution and Trafficking. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 42:1.16:1.16.1–1.16.16.

Author Information

  1. MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND), Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2008
  2. Published Print: JAN 2008


An important tool for studying the regulation of synapses is a rapid and reliable means of separating synaptic and intracellular proteins. This unit presents a technique for analysis of brain tissue which relies on differential centrifugation to separate proteins present at synaptic sites from those found in intracellular cytoplasmic and vesicular pools. The method is efficient in that only small amounts of tissue, such as might be obtained from a small region of a rodent brain, are required. It is reproducible and, in conjunction with immunoblot or immunoprecipitation techniques, can produce reliable quantitative data. The protocol will be of interest to those conducting a variety of different studies related to the localization and trafficking of brain receptors and signaling molecules. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 42:1.16.1-1.16.16. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • subcellular;
  • trafficking;
  • immunoprecipitation;
  • receptor;
  • phosphorylation