Cytochemical Staining Reactions for Enzymes in Cytoplasmic Organelles

  • Alex B. Novikoff
  • Phyllis M. Novikoff


Recent reports on the use of lead precipitating procedures for localizing intracellular phosphatases and criticism of these procedures (see (1) and (2) for the most recent interchange of views) have left undiminished the value of using the following phosphatases as cytochemical “markers” for light and electron microscopy (3, 4): plasma membrane — nucleoside phosphatases (e.g., Mn++ — and Mg++-stimulated “ATPase”, 5’-nucleotidase, Co++-stimulated CMPase, etc.); endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of liver, kidney, endocrine-secreting cells, etc. -- a nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) that hydrolyzes IDP, UDP, GDP (also TPP) but not CDP or ADP (5, 6); Golgi apparatus -- NDPase, thiamine pyrophosphatase (TTPase) (see 6)); Golgi-endoplasmic reticulumlysosome (GERL) -- acid phosphatase; and lysosomes -- acid phosphatase. Optimal oxidation at high pH and relatively high H2O2 concentration of diaminobenzidine may be used to “mark” peroxisomes because of their high catalase content (7, 8). Mitochondria oxidize diaminobenzidine optimally at low pH and low H2O2 concentration (7).


Dorsal Root Ganglion Golgi Apparatus Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum Glycosyl Transferase Lead Phosphate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex B. Novikoff
    • 1
  • Phyllis M. Novikoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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