The distribution of endogenous peroxidase activity in the lacrimal gland of the rat during postnatal development was investigated by electron microscope cytochemistry Peroxidase activity is first found 6 hr after birth in only a few acinar cells At this stage, reaction product fills only localized segments of the scant rough endoplasmic reticulum and of the perinuclear cisternae. Peroxidase activity thus develops asynchronously in a given cell as well as in the secretory cell population as a whole 2 days after birth, all cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum of a peroxidase-positive cell contain reaction product, but the majority of the acinar cells is still negative During the next days, the number of peroxidase-positive cells and the amount of the rough endoplasmic reticulum increase rapidly. By 15 days postparturition, all secretory cells are peroxidase-positive. Reaction product is then found in all cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum including the perinuclear cisternae, in smooth surface vesicles located mainly between the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi stacks, in condensing vacuoles, and in all secretory granules The Golgi cisternae rarely contain reaction product In total homogenates and in fractions of glandular tissue of adult rats, peroxidatic and catalatic activities are demonstrable. The microsomal fractions and the postmicrosomal supernatants were used to separate peroxidase from catalase by precipitation with ammonium sulfate, and the following parameters were determined: substrate (H2O2-) optimum (∼ 2.0 x 10-4M), pH-optimum (pH 6 5), temperature-optimum (42°C), and the absorption maximum (415 nm before and 425 nm after addition of H2O2) The same parameters were obtained from lacrimal fluid peroxidase. Both peroxidase from lacrimal gland and that from lacrimal fluid are almost completely inhibited by 10-3M aminotriazole and are possibly identical enzymes. Peroxidase is secreted into lacrimal fluid, which does not contain catalase.

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