Cellular distribution of the antimutagenic MTH1 protein in the liver, kidney, and testis of Fischer rat was evaluated using the immunohistochemical staining with anti-MTH1 polyclonal antibody. The present investigation revealed a non-uniform distribution of MTH1 among cells and among the cytoplasmic, nuclear, and membranal structures of cells within a given tissue. A particularly strong expression of MTH1 was observed for the first time in the perinuclear acrosomic bodies of spermatocytes and in the acrosomic vesicles of sperm heads. Treatment of rats with a single sc dose of 20 μmol Cd(II)/kg body wt. produced histopathologic changes in these organs accompanied by redistribution of the cellular MTH1 protein between the cytoplasm and nuclei. The acute phase of Cd(II) toxicity, that in the liver and especially in the testes (but not in kidneys) led to cell necrosis, was accompanied by a characteristic decrease in the abundance of MTH1-expressing nuclei. Chronic toxicity without necrosis, persisting in the kidney over the entire 14-day study, as well as the survival and proliferation of cells, observed in the liver and testis after the necrotizing phase, were signified by increased number of nuclei expressing MTH1. Thus, unlike previous biochemical studies, immunohistochemistry managed to reveal alterations in the patterns of inter- and intracellular distribution of MTH1, associated apparently with the conditional changes in the dynamics of synthesis of nucleic acids, assisted by this protein.
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