Ultrastructural immunogold localization of prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase (cyclooxygenase) to non-membrane-bound cytoplasmic lipid bodies in human lung mast cells, alveolar macrophages, Type II pneumocytes, and neutrophils

A. M. Dvorak*, E. Morgan, R. P. Schleimer, S. W. Ryeom, L. M. Lichtenstein, P. F. Weller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lipid bodies are non-membrane-bound, lipid-rich cytoplasmic inclusions that occur in many mammalian cell types. Because lipid bodies are more prominent in cells associated with inflammation and are repositories of arachidonyl-phospholipids, a role for lipid bodies in the oxidative metabolism of arachidonic acid to form eicosanoids has been suggested. To evaluate further whether lipid bodies, in addition to serving as non- membranous sources of substrate arachidonate, are involved in eicosanoid formation, we used cells isolated from human lung to investigate the intracellular localization of prostaglandin endoperoxide (PGH) synthase (cyclooxygenase), the key initial, rate-limiting enzyme in the formation of prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Isolated lung cells containing a mixture of mast cells, alveolar macrophages, Type II alveolar pneumocytes, and neutrophils from short-term cultures were fixed in suspension in a dilute aldehyde mixture, post-fixed in osmium tetroxide, stained en bloc with uranyl acetate, dehydrated in a graded series of alcohols, and embedded in Epon. A post-embedding immunogold procedure was used with a primary PGH synthase monoclonal antibody and 20-nm gold-conjugated secondary antibody to demonstrate enzyme locations. Specificity controls were also done. We found PGH synthase in lipid bodies of human lung mast cells, alveolar macrophages, Type II alveolar pneumocytes, and neutrophils. Specific secretory and lysosomal granules and plasma membranes did not express PGH synthase. Specificity controls, including omission of the primary antibody or substitution with an irrelevant antibody, were negative. Absorption of the specific PGH synthase antibody with purified solid-phase PGH synthase resulted in a marked reduction of label in lipid bodies of all four cell types. These findings establish the presence of PGH synthase in lipid bodies of human lung mast cells, alveolar macrophages, Type II alveolar pneumocytes, and neutrophils and, in concert with previous studies, suggest that these cytoplasmic lipid-rich organelles may be non-membrane sites of eicosanoid formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-769
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

Keywords

  • Arachidonic acid
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Eicosanoids
  • Human
  • Lipid bodies
  • Macrophage
  • Mast cell
  • Neutrophil
  • Post- embedding ultrastructural immunogold analysis
  • Prostaglandin
  • Type II pneumocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology

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