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Histochem J. 1988 Mar;20(3):165-73.

Detection of peroxisomes in human liver and kidney fixed with formalin and embedded in paraffin: the use of catalase and lipid beta-oxidation enzymes as immunocytochemical markers.

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Department of Histology, Copernicus Medical Academy, Kraków, Poland.


We describe the immunocytochemical localization of four peroxisomal enzymes by light microscopy in human liver and kidney processed routinely by formalin fixation and paraffin embedding. Monospecific antisera against catalase and three enzymes of peroxisomal lipid beta-oxidation (acyl-CoA oxidase, bifunctional protein (enoyl-CoA hydratase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase) and 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase) were used in conjunction with either the indirect immunoperoxidase method or the protein A-gold technique followed by silver intensification. The sections of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue had to be deparaffinized and subjected to controlled proteolysis in order to obtain satisfactory immunostaining. Under the conditions employed, peroxisomes were distinctly visualized in liver parenchymal cells with no reaction in bile duct epithelial or sinusoidal lining cells. In the kidney, peroxisomes were confined to the proximal tubular epithelial cells with negative staining of glomeruli, distal tubules and collecting ducts. A positive immunocytochemical reaction was obtained even in paraffin blocks stored for several years. The method offers a simple approach for detection of peroxisomes and evaluation of their various enzyme proteins in material processed routinely in histopathology laboratories and should prove useful in the investigation of the role of peroxisomes in human pathology for both prospective and retrospective studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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