Thiopurine methyltransferase regulation in rat kidney: immunoprecipitation studies

Xenobiotica. 1991 Apr;21(4):451-9. doi: 10.3109/00498259109039485.


1. Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) catalyses the S-methylation of thiopurine drugs. TPMT activity in the kidneys of male Sprague-Dawley (S-D) rats is approximately twice that present in the kidneys of female S-D rats, and this difference is testosterone-dependent. Renal TPMT activities in these animals also increase dramatically during growth and development. 2. Our studies were conducted to determine whether variations in TMPT activity in the S-D rat kidney were due to differences in the quantity of TPMT protein. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies to partially purified rat kidney TPMT were used to develop an immunoprecipitation assay for immunoreactive TPMT protein. 3. Gender-related differences in renal TPMT activities in S-D rats were due to a lower content of immunoreactive TPMT protein in kidneys of female animals. TPMT enzyme activities and immunoreactive protein levels were also directly correlated in renal preparations from castrated and sham-operated male rats, from testosterone-treated castrated and sham-operated male rats, and from testosterone-treated and control female rats. 4. There was also a significant positive correlation between TPMT enzymic activities and immunoreactive TPMT protein levels in renal tissue from different aged male S-D rats (rs = 0.955, n = 15, P less than 0.001.) 5. These results demonstrate that changes in S-D kidney TPMT activity during growth and development, in the two sexes and in response to testosterone, were due to variations in the quantity of immunoreactive TPMT protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Female
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Orchiectomy
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Rats
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Testosterone
  • Methyltransferases
  • thiopurine methyltransferase