Localization of xanthine oxidase in mammary-gland epithelium and capillary endothelium

Cell. 1981 Jul;25(1):67-82. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(81)90232-4.


Xanthine oxidase, an iron-sulfur molybdenum flavoprotein known to generate superoxide radical, was demonstrated in several bovine tissues. The enzyme (155 kd polypeptide) was purified from bovine milk lipid globules and antibodies were raised that allowed precipitation of the enzyme without inactivation of enzymatic activity. By immunolocalization techniques at light and electron microscope levels, the antigen was found in milk-secreting epithelial cells but not in epithelial cells of several other tissues. In a number of tissues, including mammary gland, liver, heart, lung and intestine, antibodies to xanthine oxidase stained only endothelial cells of capillaries, including sinusoids, but not endothelia of larger blood vessels and endocard. In both milk-secreting epithelial and capillary endothelial cells, xanthine oxidase was distributed throughout the cytoplasm. Results from biochemical and immunological studies suggest that xanthine oxidase is similar in the various tissues examined and may serve similar redox functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / enzymology*
  • Cattle
  • Cytoplasm / enzymology
  • Endothelium / enzymology
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Female
  • Intestines / enzymology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / enzymology*
  • Muscles / enzymology
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism*


  • Xanthine Oxidase