The distribution of cathepsin B in human tissues

J Pathol. 1985 Apr;145(4):307-14. doi: 10.1002/path.1711450404.


Cathepsin B is a lysosomal enzyme of importance in many physiological and pathological processes. Its distribution in human tissues was studied by an indirect immunoperoxidase method. Cathepsin B was demonstrated in macrophages, hepatocytes, renal tubules, gastrointestinal epithelium and fibroblasts, confirming previous studies. It was demonstrated for the first time by immunohistology in several other tissues, especially stratified squamous epithelium, transitional epithelium, salivary glands, pancreas, central and peripheral neuronal cell bodies, trophoblast and all endocrine organs. Widespread distribution of cathepsin B has been postulated several times but this is the fullest evidence that the enzyme indeed occurs in many organs. In pathology cathepsin B has so far been thought to be involved in demyelination, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis and neoplastic infiltration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System / enzymology
  • Cathepsin B
  • Cathepsins / analysis*
  • Digestive System / enzymology
  • Endocrine Glands / enzymology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphoid Tissue / enzymology
  • Male
  • Nervous System / enzymology
  • Respiratory System / enzymology
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Urogenital System / enzymology


  • Cathepsins
  • Cathepsin B