Immunohistochemical studies on hemoglobin-haptoglobin and hemoglobin catabolism sites

J Histochem Cytochem. 1987 Mar;35(3):381-6. doi: 10.1177/35.3.3546486.


In order to clarify the catabolism sites of Hb-Hp and free Hb, the organ distributions of [125I]-Hb-Hp and [125I]-Hb were studied, and the cell types in each organ incorporating them were determined by immunohistochemical methods. After administration of [125I]-Hb-Hp in very small amounts to rats, 84.5% was incorporated into the liver, but the renal uptake was only 0.6%. [125I]-Hb was incorporated into the kidneys rather than into the liver when a fivefold greater amount of [125I]-Hb than the binding capacity of plasma Hp was administered. Parenchymal cells, but not Kupffer cells, in the liver were stained with anti-Hb or anti-Hp IgG after administration of Hb in an amount corresponding to the Hb binding capacity of Hp. The proximal tubule cells, but not the distal tubule cells, in the kidney were stained with anti-Hb IgG after administration of a fivefold greater amount of Hb than the binding capacity of Hp. On the basis of these results, we suggest that Hb-Hp was incorporated mainly into liver parenchymal cells and did not traverse glomeruli in the kidney. In contrast to Hb-Hp, free Hb could pass through the glomeruli easily and was incorporated into the proximal tubule cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Haptoglobins / metabolism*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Distal / metabolism
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Haptoglobins
  • Hemoglobins