Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 214, Issue 2, pp 407–415

Ultrastructural localization of endogenous peroxidase in the lower respiratory tract of the guinea pig

  • T. G. Christensen
  • G. C. Blanchard
  • G. Nolley
  • J. A. Hayes


Endogenous peroxidase activity was demonstrated by cytochemistry in mucous cells of the submucosal glands and tracheobronchial epithelium of guinea pigs. It is localized in the nuclear envelope, in cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum, and in secretory granules. It was not seen in Golgi saccules or in the airway lumen. By contrast, all epithelial cells within the lung including mucous (goblet) cells lack activity. Reaction product is also absent from alveolar macrophages and mast cells. The appearance of peroxidase in mucous cells is age-related. No activity was seen at 1.5ms of age. A few mucous cells were positive at 2.5 and 3 ms while the proportion of positive cells increased substantially up to 7 ms. Thus, the age of guinea pigs in HRP transport studies must receive careful consideration in order to avoid misinterpretation of results. The function of mucous cell peroxidase is unknown. The results of this study suggest that it is secreted. Whether it plays a significant role in lung defense through its well documented anti-infectious properties remains to be determined.

Key words

Endogenous peroxidase Trachea Lung Electron microscopy Guinea pig 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Christensen
    • 1
  • G. C. Blanchard
    • 2
  • G. Nolley
    • 2
  • J. A. Hayes
    • 1
  1. 1.The Mallory Institute of Pathology and Department of PathologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Clinical Immunology and PathologyVeteran's Administration Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Mallory Institute of PathologyBostonUSA

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