We raised an antiserum against the synthetic peptide FKETTRSFSNECLGTTR corresponding to the amino terminus of the enzyme peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase (PAM). Control experiments were performed to determine the specificity of the antiserum and its suitability for the immunohistochemical identification of PAM-containing cells. An immunoaffinity column made with the antibody coupled to Sepharose permitted the isolation of the active enzyme. Peptide-agarose immunoadsorbant removed the antibodies responsible for the characteristic staining patterns in immunohistochemical experiments. As expected from the widespread distribution of amidated peptides in the nervous system, PAM immunoreactivity was detected in perikarya in a variety of locations, including the pituitary, the hypothalamic periventricular and supraoptic nuclei, neocortex, and sensory ganglia. Punctate immunostained fibers, especially around neuronal perikarya, were observed in regions known to receive amidated peptidergic afferents. In addition, PAM immunoreactivity was observed in some neurons not known to produce amidated peptides (e.g., pyramidal cells of the hippocampus). This result suggests that these neurons also produce an amidated peptide. PAM immunoreactivity was also detected in several unexpected cell types, including ependyma, choroid plexus, oligodendroglia, and Schwann cells. The presence of enzymatically active PAM in Schwann cells was confirmed by measurements of amidating activity in ligated and control sciatic nerve. These results suggest that these non-neuronal cells may produce amidated peptides.
- Schwann cells
- peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase
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