A quantitative histochemical procedure for the demonstration of purine nucleoside phosphorylase activity in rat and human liver using Tetranitro BT and xanthine oxidase as auxiliary enzyme

W. M. Frederiks, K. S. Bosch, T. van Gulik

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A quantitative histochemical procedure was developed for the demonstration of purine nucleoside phosphorylase in rat liver using unfixed cryostat sections and the auxiliary enzyme xanthine oxidase. The optimum incubation medium contained 18% (w/v) poly(vinyl alcohol), 100 mM phosphate buffer, pH 8.0, 0.5 mM inosine, 0.47 mM methoxyphenazine methosulphate and 1 mM Tetranitro BT. An enzyme film consisting of xanthine oxidase was brought onto the object slides before the section wa allowed to adhere. The specificity of the reaction was proven by the low amount of final reaction product generated when incubating in the absence of inosine. Moreover, 1 mM p-chloromercuribenzoic acid, a non-specific inhibitor of purine nucleoside phosphorylase, inhibited the specific reaction by 90%. The specific reaction defined as the test reaction, in the presence of substrate, minus the control reaction, in the absence of substrate was linear with incubation time at least up to 30 min as measured cytophotometrically. A high activity was observed in endothelial cells and Kupffer cells of rat liver and a lower activity in liver parenchymal cells. Pericentral hepatocytes showed an activity higher than that of periportal hepatocytes. In human liver, purine nucleoside phosphorylase activity was also high in endothelial cells and Kupffer cells, but the activity in liver parenchymal cells was only slightly lower than it was in non-parenchymal cells. The localization of the enzyme is in agreement with earlier ultrastructural findings using fixed liver tissue and the lead salt procedure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
JournalHistochemical journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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