Immunocytochemical examination of neural rat and mouse primary cultures using monoclonal antibodies raised against pyruvate carboxylase

J Neurochem. 1995 May;64(5):2312-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1995.64052312.x.


Pyruvate carboxylase (EC; PC) catalyzes the formation of oxaloacetate by energy-dependent fixation of CO2 to pyruvate. The aim of the present work was to generate antibodies against PC and use them to localize PC in the cells of astroglia-rich and neuron-rich primary cultures derived from the brains of rats and mice. Mouse monoclonal antibodies raised against the enzyme were shown to be monospecific as indicated by immunoblotting. The staining of the cells for PC appeared in grains. These represent mitochondria, as PC is known as a mitochondrial enzyme. Immunocytochemical examination of astroglia-rich primary cultures of rat or mouse brain cells revealed a colocalization of PC with the astroglial marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in many cells. However, there were GFAP-positive cells showing no specific staining for PC, and vice versa. Also, in neuron-rich primary cultures PC was found only in the approximately 10% GFAP-expressing astroglial cells contaminating the neuron-rich primary culture, whereas it was absent from the neurons identified by antibodies against neuron-specific enolase. These results suggest that PC is predominantly an astroglial enzyme and that astroglial cells play an important role in the intermediary and the energy metabolism of the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Astrocytes / enzymology
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / analysis
  • Pyruvate Carboxylase / analysis*
  • Pyruvate Carboxylase / immunology
  • Rats


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase
  • Pyruvate Carboxylase