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Alpha1-microglobulin is found both in blood and in most tissues

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  • Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center
  • Department of Molecular Biology
In this study we demonstrate that, in addition to blood, alpha1-microglobulin (alpha1m) is present in most tissues, including liver, heart, eye, kidney, lung, pancreas, and skeletal muscle. Western blotting of perfused and homogenized rat tissue supernatants revealed alpha1m in its free, monomeric form and in high molecular weight forms, corresponding to the complexes fibronectin-alpha1m and alpha1-inhibitor-3-alpha1m, which have previously been identified in plasma. The liver also contained a series of alpha1m isoforms with apparent molecular masses between 40 and 50 kD. These bands did not react with anti-inter-alpha-inhibitor antibodies, indicating that they do not represent the alpha1m-bikunin precursor protein. Similarly, the heart contained a 45-kD alpha1m band and the kidney a 50-kD alpha1m band. None of these alpha1m isoforms was present in plasma. Immunohistochemical analysis of human tissue demonstrated granular intracellular labeling of alpha1m in hepatocytes and in the proximal epithelial cells of the kidney. In addition, alpha1m immunoreactivity was detected in the interstitial connective tissue of heart and lung and in the adventitia of blood vessels as well as on cell surfaces of cardiocytes. alpha1m mRNA was found in the liver and pancreas by polymerase chain reaction, suggesting that the protein found in other tissues is transported via the bloodstream from the production sites in liver and pancreas. The results of this study indicate that in addition to its role in plasma, alpha1m may have important functions in the interstitium of several tissues. (J Histochem Cytochem 46:887-893, 1998)
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Pages (from-to)887-94
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Research areas

  • Animals, Blotting, Western, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Glycoproteins, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Membrane Glycoproteins, Organ Specificity, Protein Isoforms, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Trypsin Inhibitor, Kunitz Soybean

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