The distribution of oxidative and hydrolytic enzyme activities along the nephron of Necturus maculosus Rafinesque was studied histochemically. The proximal tubule possessed all the demonstrable enzyme activities associated with the hexose-monophosphate shunt and glycolysis, but lacked detectable succinic dehydrogenase and cytochrome oxidase activities. Krebs cycle enzymes other than succinic dehydrogenase were easily detectable. The distal tubule, on the other hand, possessed no detectable hexose-monophosphate shunt enzyme activities, but all demonstrable glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzymes and cytochrome oxidase were present in high activity. These data indicate that the proximal tubule of Necturus probably cannot depend, as can the distal tubule, on the Krebs cycle and cytochrome system to provide energy for its transport processes, an inference supported, in general, by available physiological evidence. The question of the importance of the hexose shunt to proximal tubular function arises. Evidence is presented that the proximal tubular blood supply is primarily venous in nature, a hypothesis which would correlate well with its anaerobic metabolic pattern. In addition, the absence of cytochrome oxidase and succinic dehydrogenase from the proximal tubular cells implies either that they possess very few mitochondria, or that their mitochondria have a very unusual enzymatic pattern. Electron microscopical observations and data obtained from the measurement of the enzyme activities of homogenates of Necturus kidney are presented which indicate that the second hypothesis is more probably correct.

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