Endogenous peroxidase activity in rat thyroid follicular cells is demonstrated cytochemically. Following perfusion fixation of the thyroid gland, small blocks of tissue are incubated in a medium containing substrate for peroxidase, before being postfixed in osmium tetroxide, and processed for electron microscopy. Peroxidase activity is found in thyroid follicular cells in the following sites: (a) the perinuclear cisternae, (b) the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum, (c) the inner few lamellae of the Golgi complex, (d) within vesicles, particularly those found apically, and (e) associated with the external surfaces of the microvilli that project apically from the cell into the colloid. In keeping with the radioautographic evidence of others and the postulated role of thyroid peroxidase in iodination, it is suggested that the microvillous apical cell border is the major site where iodination occurs. However, that apical vesicles also play a role in iodination cannot be excluded. The in vitro effect of cyanide, aminotriazole, and thiourea is also discussed.

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