Skip to main content
Log in

Thiaminepyrophosphatase activity in the plasma membrane of microglia

  • Published:
Histochemistry Aims and scope Submit manuscript


An intense thiaminepyrophosphatase (TPPase) activity was demonstrated in glial cells and blood vessels in the central nervous system (CNS), when incubation was carried out with thiaminepyrophosphate (TPP, cocarboxylase), using the method of Novikoff and Goldfischer (1961). Glial cells with TPPase activity were identified as microglia because they were morphologically similar to microglial cells in the sections stained with silver impregnation. TPPase activity was localized in the microglial perikaryon and in the processes, as viewed under a light microscope. Electron microscopically, enzyme activity was localized in the plasma membrane of microglia. We consider this activity to be a true TPPase activity hydrolyzing TPP, and we then went on to examine the substrate specificity, optimum pH, effect of chemical inhibitors and activators, and the effect of glutaraldehyde fixation. Our data are reported herein.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Allen JM (1963) The properties of Golgi-associated nucleoside diphosphatase and thiamine pyrophosphatase: II. Electrophoretic separation and identification. J Histochem Cytochem 11:542–552

    Google Scholar 

  • Bhagat B, Lockett MF (1962) The synthesis of acetylcholine by acetone dried powders from the brains of normal and thiamine deficient rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 14:37–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Becker H, Novikoff AB, Goldfisher S (1961) A cytochemical study of the neuronal Golgi apparatus. Arch Neurol 5:497–503

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooper JR, Roth RH, Kini MM (1963) Biochemical and physiological function of thiamine in nervous tissue. Nature 199:609–610

    Google Scholar 

  • Dvořáck K (1970) The postnatal differentiation of the Golgi apparatus in the neurons of the hippocampal area of the rat. A histological and histochemical study. Acta Histochem 36:246–260

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldfischer S (1964) The Golgi apparatus and the endoplasmic reticulum in neurons of the rabbit. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 23:36–45

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldfischer S, Essner E, Schiller B (1971) Nucleoside diphosphatase and thiamine pyrophosphatase activities in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. J Histochem Cytochem 19:349–360

    Google Scholar 

  • Hosein EA, Orzeck A (1966) Acetylcholine-like activity of acetyl-L-carnityl-Co A in the brains of narcotized rats. Nature 210:731–732

    Google Scholar 

  • Hündgen M (1970) Cytochemical characteristics of specificity of enzyme hydrolyzing TPP and nucleoside diphosphate. Histochemie 22:376–382

    Google Scholar 

  • Ibrahim MZM, Khreis Y, Koshayan DS (1974) The histochemical identification of microglia. J Neurol Sci 22:211–233

    Google Scholar 

  • Knyihar E, Laszlo I (1973) Thiamine pyrophosphatase activity in neurotubli and synaptic vesicles. Neurobiology 3:227–334

    Google Scholar 

  • Lojda Z, Gossrau R, Schiebler TH (1979) Enzyme histochemistry. A laboratory manual. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Martinez-Murillo R, Martinez-Rodriguez R, Toledano A, Barca MA (1970) Histochemical characteristics of diphosphatase nucleoside consumption in cat and rat nervous system. Acta Histochem 65:138–145

    Google Scholar 

  • Martinez-Rodriguez R, Martinez-Murillo R, Toledano A, Barca MA (1980) A comparative study of diphosphate nucleosidase and thiamine pyrophosphatase in the mammalian hypothalamus. J Anat 130:173–182

    Google Scholar 

  • Novikoff AB, Goldfischer S (1961) Nucleoside diphosphatase activity in the Golgi apparatus and its usefulness for cytological studies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 47:802–810

    Google Scholar 

  • Novikoff AB, Heus MA (1963) A microsomal nucleoside diphosphatase. J Biol Chem 238:710–716

    Google Scholar 

  • Novikoff PM, Novikoff AB, Quintana N, Hauw J-J (1971) Golgi apparatus, GERL, and lysosomes of neurons in rat dorsal root ganglia, studied by thick section and thin section cytochemistry. J Cell Biol 50:859–886

    Google Scholar 

  • Osinchack J (1964) Electron microscopic localization of acid phosphatase and thiamine pyrophosphatase activity in hypothalamic neurosecretory cells of the rat. J Cell Biol 21:35–47

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogawa K, Saito T, Hirano T, Mayahara H (1967) Lead citrate method for the light and electron microscopic demonstration of phosphatases at high alkaline pH. Acta Anat Nippon 42:40

    Google Scholar 

  • Plaut GWE (1963) In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds) Method in Enzymology vol 6. Academic Press, New York, p 231

    Google Scholar 

  • Sjöstrand J (1966) Changes of nucleoside phosphatase activity in the hypoglossal nucleus during nerve regeneration. Acta Physiol Scand 67:219–228

    Google Scholar 

  • Torack RM, Barrnett RJ (1963) Nucleoside phosphatase activity in membranous fine structure on neurons and glia. J Histochem Cytochem 11:763–772

    Google Scholar 

  • Venable JH, Coggeshall R (1965) A simplified lead citrate stain for use in electron microscopy. J Cell Biol 25:407

    Google Scholar 

  • Yamazaki M, Hayaishi O (1968) Allosteric properties of nucleoside diphosphatase and its identity with thiamine pyrophosphatase. J Cell Biol Chem 243:2934–2940

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

This work was supported by grant (No. 437002) from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Murabe, Y., Sano, Y. Thiaminepyrophosphatase activity in the plasma membrane of microglia. Histochemistry 71, 45–52 (1981).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: