Localization of cathepsin L in rat kidney was investigated by immunocytochemical techniques. Kidneys were fixed by perfusion and embedded in Epon or Lowicryl K4M without postomication. For light microscopy (LM), semi-thin sections of the Epon-embedded material were stained by the immunoenzyme technique after removal of epoxy resin. For electron microscopy (EM), ultra-thin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded material were stained by the protein A-gold technique. By LM, reaction deposits for cathepsin L were present in the cytoplasmic granules of proximal tubule cells, but little or no reaction product was noted in distal tubule, collecting tubule, and most of urinary tubules in the medulla. By EM, heavy gold label for cathepsin L was confined exclusively to lysosomes of the proximal tubule cells, but little or no label to those of the other segments. In immunocytochemical control sections, no reaction was observed. These results indicate that a main container of cathepsin L is lysosomes of the proximal tubule and suggest that the enzyme plays a role in the degradation of endocytosed proteins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)