A histochemical technique for the demonstration of K+-rho-nitrophenylphosphatase (K+-rhoNPPase) activity, a component of the Na+,K+-ATPase, has been applied at the fine structural level in the somatosensory cortex of the rat. Reaction product was consistenly found in dendrites and in association with the cytoplasmic aspect of the dendritic plasmalemma. Reaction product often filled portions of the tubular smooth endoplasmic reticulum in these processes. The results of these studies are interpreted to indicate that enzymatic activity is associated with large-and small-diameter dendrites. No convincing evidence of high activity was found in glial profiles. The importance of neurons and their dendrites in active transport of sodium and potassium ions in the cerebral cortex may be more significant than indicated by studies with isolated neurons and glia.

This content is only available as a PDF.