Immunohistochemical Localization of Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II in Rat Brain and Various Tissues


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. K. Fukunaga at Department of Pharmacology, Kumamoto University Medical School, Kumamoto 860, Japan.


Abstract: Polyclonal antibodies against Ca2+/calmodulin-de-pendent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II) of rat brain were prepared by immunizing rabbits and then purified by antigen-affinity column. The antibodies which recognized both sub-units of the enzyme with MrS 49K and 60K were used for the study on the distribution of CaM kinase II in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. In the brain, a light-microscopic study demonstrated strong immunoreactivity in neu-ronal somata and dendrites and weak immunoreactivity in nuclei. The densely stained regions included cerebral cortex, hippocampal formation, striatum, substantia nigra, and cer-ebellar cortex. In substantia nigra, neurites were stained, but not neuronal somata. Electron microscopy revealed that the immunoreactive product was highly concentrated at the postsynaptic densities. In addition to neurons, weak immunoreactivity was also demonstrated in glial cells, such as as-trocytes and ependymal cells of ventricles and epithelial cells of choroid plexus. In other tissues, strong immunoreactivity was observed in the islet of pancreas and moderate immunoreactivity in skeletal muscle and kidney tubules. Immunoreactivity was demonstrated in all of the tissues tested. The results suggest that CaM kinase II is widely distributed in the tissues.