Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Cyclic 3′, 5′-mononucleotide phosphodiesterase (cyclic nucleotide PDEase) activity was studied histo-and cytochemically in the retinal rod photoreceptor cells of the rat by means of a newly developed technique utilizing the intrinsic 5′ nucleotidase activity instead of an exogenous 5′ nucleotidase source (snake venom). Cyclic GMP and cyclic AMP were used as substrates. When cyclic GMP was used as a substrate, the intense activity of phosphodiesterase (PDEase) was distributed over the entire rod outer segments; reaction product was observed on the plasmalemma and on the disk membranes of the outer segments. A slight reaction was also observed on the plasmalemma of the inner segments. However, no precipitate was found in the perinuclear and synaptic regions of the rod photoreceptors. In contrast, when cyclic AMP was utilized as a substrate, a moderate reaction was seen in the synaptic region of the plexiform layer. The intensity of the reaction in the outer segments was much reduced in comparison to the results with cyclic GMP. The enzyme activity was almost completely inhibited by 2 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) or 2 mM theophylline, which were potent inhibitors of PDEase. To confirm the propriety of our new cytochemical method, the localization of 5′ nucleotidase was also studied utilizing 5′ AMP or 5′ GMP as substrates. In contrast to the activity of cyclic nucleotide PDEase, the activity of 5′ nucleotidase was distributed on all membranes of the photoreceptors from the synaptic outer plexiform layer to the tip of outer segments. After inhibition of the intrinsic 5′ nucleotidase activity with the use of 1 mM Ni-ions or 10 mM NaF no demonstration of cyclic nucleotide PDEase activity was possible; the existence of intrinsic 5′ nucleotidase activity is necessary for the release of free phosphateions from 5′ AMP (5′ GMP), which are a prerequisite for the histochemical reaction. For comparison, some sections were incubated with the conventional cyclic nucleotide PDEase incubation medium containing snake venom from Ophiophagus hannah. With this conventional method, morphological preservation was extremely poor, and moreover, the reaction itself was weaker than that with the presently described method.
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