Immunocytochemical localization of glycogen phosphorylase isozymes in rat nervous tissues by using isozyme-specific antibodies

J Neurochem. 2003 Apr;85(1):73-81. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.2003.01644.x.


Isozyme-specific antibodies were raised against peptides from the low-homology regions of the sequences of rat glycogen phosphorylase BB and MM isozymes by immunization of rabbits and guinea pigs. Immunocytochemical double-labelling experiments on frozen sections of rat nervous tissues were performed to investigate the isozyme localization pattern. Astrocytes throughout the brain and spinal cord expressed both isozymes in perfect co-localization. Ependymal cells only expressed the BB isozyme. Most neurones were not immunoreactive. The rare neurones that contained glycogen phosphorylase only expressed the BB isozyme. Nearly all of these neurones formed part of the afferent somatosensory system. These findings stress the general importance of glycogen in neural energy metabolism and indicate a special role for the glycogen phosphorylase BB isozyme in neurones in the somatosensory system.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / enzymology*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / enzymology
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase / analysis
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase / biosynthesis*
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Brain Form / analysis
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Brain Form / biosynthesis
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Muscle Form / analysis
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Muscle Form / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes / analysis
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Rats
  • Spinal Cord / enzymology*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Glycogen
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Brain Form
  • Glycogen Phosphorylase, Muscle Form