Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In the presence of excess β-glycerophosphate or p-nitrophenylphosphate NADPH diaphorase of the epithelial cell in rat small intestine has its highest activity in the villi at the basis of the microvilli, where smooth endoplasmic reticulum of the cells is present. In the absence of β-glycerophosphate or p-nitrophenylphosphate the diaphorase activity is much higher and broader localized in crypts and villi. The increased activity is due to the conversion of NADPH to NADH by non-specific (mostly alkaline-) phosphatase activity, so that both NADPH and NADH diaphorase activities are measured. When NADPH is generated by a specific NADP+-linked dehydrogenase, such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and nitroblue tetrazolium is present to trap the reducing equivalents formed, the histochemical localization of the dehydrogenase is identical to that of NADPH diaphorase, although the dehydrogenase may be present in another cell compartment (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase for instance has a cytosolic distribution). Therefore the localization of a dehydrogenase may be falsely interpreted histochemically, according to the diaphorase reaction involved. A different localization may be obtained when the diaphorase reaction is circumvented by the addition of an alternative hydrogen carrier, such as phenazine methosulphate. Also in coupled dehydrogenase assays this may be observed. The hexokinase reaction, coupled to the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase reaction in the presence of nitroblue tetrazolium and the absence of phenazine methosulphate, has a distribution identical to NADPH diaphorase. In the presence of phenazine methosulphate the enzyme has an almost ubiquitous distribution in the small intestinal epithelial cell. When a substrate may react both with NADP+- and NAD+-linked dehydrogenases, such as L-malate: NADP oxido-reductase (decarboxylating) and L-malate: NAD oxidoreductase respectively, the high activity of intestinal alkaline phosphatase may influence the histochemical distribution by converting part of NADP+ to NAD+. The addition of another phosphate ester, such a β-glycerophosphate or p-nitrophenylphosphate, may therefore influence the observed distribution.
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