Aminopeptidase N- and human blood group A-antigenicity along the digestive tract and associated glands in the rabbit

Cell Tissue Res. 1985;239(1):241-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00214925.


The cellular localization of an aminopeptidase N homologous to the brush-border intestinal enzyme and that of human blood group A-substances were investigated using the immunofluorescence technique on thin frozen sections (200 nm) of the digestive tract and associated glands of A+ and A- rabbits. Aminopeptidase N was found to be a common specific marker of both the apical region of plasma membrane of acinar cells in submaxillary and parotid glands and pancreas and the brush border of jejunum and colon absorbing cells. In hepatocytes, the enzyme was localized in the sinusoidal domains. Soluble A-substances were present in mucus secretory granules of intestinal goblet cells and those of stomach and gall bladder mucous cells. In contrast, the mucous acini of sublingual and submaxillary glands were devoid of A-antigenicity. The columnar cells of striated ducts of these glands exhibited A-antigenicity. Soluble A-substances were also found in zymogen granules of parotid and pancreas acinar cells and those of stomach chief cells. Moreover, in all cells secreting A-substances, and in the non-secreting absorbing intestinal cells, the glycoproteins of the plasma membrane bore A-determinants. Aminopeptidase N was one of the membrane-bound glycoproteins that bore A-determinants in cells that expressed A-antigenicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System / immunology*
  • Aminopeptidases / immunology*
  • Animals
  • CD13 Antigens
  • Digestive System / enzymology
  • Digestive System / immunology*
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pancreatic Juice / immunology
  • Rabbits


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Aminopeptidases
  • CD13 Antigens