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Transplantation. 1991 Aug;52(2):340-5.

The immunochemical distribution of cyclophilin in normal mammalian tissues.

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Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Cyclophilin, a 17 Kd proline cis-trans isomerase, high-affinity (Kd 10(-8) M) target for the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine has ubiquitous phylogenic distribution, but its tissue localization in mammals has not been detailed. To explore a potential relationship between the multiple systemic effects of CsA and the cellular and tissue distribution of CYP, thirty-three different normal porcine tissues were examined using an immunohistochemical technique. Tissue was obtained from farmbred pigs, immediately fixed in buffered formalin, and prepared as embedded 5-mu sections. Immune-specific staining was accomplished using an ABC immunoperoxidase method and an affinity-purified, monospecific, rabbit anti-CYP IgG. Cut sections served as their own blanks and controls, and all tissues were stained in batch to minimize the effects of variation in technique. Consistent with earlier reports, CYP was present in all tissues studied, however, there was remarkable heterogeneity in CYP distribution. Renal parenchymal cells, cardiac and striated muscle, pulmonary and skin demonstrated cytoplasmic immunospecific CYP--however, the cellular localization varied. Cytoplasmic staining of endothelial, neural, and glandular elements was consistently observed. Contrasting with previous reports, CYP localized to the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm of some lymphoid cells, hepatocytes, and cells of the large intestine. Generally, greater CYP-specific staining was noted in organs amenable to CsA immunosuppression (heart, liver, kidney), compared with organs deemed more immunologically vulnerable when allografted under CsA (pancreas, lung, small bowel). Similarly, CYP-immunospecific staining was abundant in tissues susceptible to CsA toxicities (neural tissue, smooth muscle, kidney, liver). This detailed immunohistological examination affords a correlation between CYP content and sensitivity to CsA. It also raises some new questions about tissues with little extractable CYP but significant histological staining.

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