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Neuroscience. 1997 Aug;79(3):887-91.

Non-conventional role of lysosomal acid phosphatase in olfactory receptor axons: co-localization with growth-associated phosphoprotein-43.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Göttingen, Germany.


Olfactory receptor neurons undergo a continuous turnover in adult mammals. It is largely unknown how their axons invade the olfactory bulb and induce synaptic re-organization in glomeruli. Here, the cytochemical localization of lysosomal acid phosphatase has been studied in olfactory bulbs of adult rats and mice. The enzyme has been identified by specific substrate, inhibitors and absence in lysosomal acid phosphatase-knockout mice. Lysosomal acid phosphatase is located in primary and secondary lysosomes, which are unevenly distributed in the olfactory nerve layer and among olfactory glomeruli. In consecutive sections of glomeruli, the intensity of lysosomal acid phosphatase immunoreactivity co-varied with that of growth-associated phosphoprotein. Electron microscopically, differential lysosomal acid phosphatase staining in glomeruli corresponded to different proportions of labelled and unlabelled axons. Quantification revealed that lysosomal acid phosphatase labelling was strongest in non-synaptic profiles of terminal axons, while it was weak in or even missing from most synaptic profiles. Hence, growing olfactory axons apparently carry more lysosomal acid phosphatase than those which have established synaptic contacts. Following olfactory deafferentation both lysosomal acid phosphatase activity and growth-associated phosphoprotein-43 are lost from glomeruli, suggesting that both proteins are expressed in olfactory sensory axons during growth, while lysosomal acid phosphatase is apparently not a marker of anterograde terminal degeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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