An antiserum specific for rat aminopeptidase M has been used for the immunohistochemical localization of the enzyme in rat brain and peripheral tissues. The enzyme in brain is localized exclusively on blood vessels. Within the pituitary the enzyme was associated with the vasculature in the posterior lobe, on the surface of the intermediate lobe and on the surface of some cells in the anterior lobe. In the liver, fine cell staining was observed between parenchymal cells, in the ileum the entire lumenal surface was stained, while in the kidney both proximal tubular and a central tubular staining was detected. In each tissue aminopeptidase M is localized such that it can limit diffusion across specific barriers. Aminopeptidase M activity in brain has been proposed to function in the degradation of synaptically released enkephalins. Its localization on blood vessels requires that enkephalins diffuse prior to degradation, a concept not in concert with current hypotheses. Based on these studies it is proposed that diffusion away from enkephalinergic synapses plays a key role in terminating enkephalin action.
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - 1987|
- Aminopeptidase M
- Enkephalin degradation in brain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience