Immunohistochemical detection of chloride/bicarbonate anion exchangers in human liver
Martínez-Ansó E., Castillo J.E., Díez J., Medina J.F., Prieto J.
Department of Medicine, University Clinic and Medical School, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
Sodium-independent Cl-/HCO3- exchange activity has been observed in isolated rat hepatocytes and intrahepatic bile duct epithelial cells, where it is involved in intracellular pH regulation and, possibly, biliary bicarbonate secretion.
Monoclonal antibodies to the membrane domain of human chloride/bicarbonate anion exchanger proteins, AE1 and AE2, were prepared so that we might determine by immunohistochemical methods the presence and location of these antiporters in the human liver. To obtain the antibody against AE1, we immunized mice with injections of washed human erythrocytes. The selected monoclonal antibody was found to be specific for the 17-kD proteolytic membrane fragment of AE1 protein. The antibody to AE2 was produced with a 14-mer synthetic peptide, whose sequence corresponds specifically to amino acid residues 871 to 884 in the deduced primary structure of human kidney AE2 protein. When the monoclonal antibody to AE2 peptide was employed for the immunohistochemical study of liver specimens (by both immunofluorescence and immunoperoxidase), a clearly defined staining was present at the canalicular membrane of hepatocytes, as well as the luminal side of the membrane of bile duct epithelial cells from small and medium-sized bile ducts.
No staining was observed in the liver parenchyma with the monoclonal antibody to AE1, which instead strongly decorated the erythrocytes in liver blood vessels. We conclude that AE2 immunoreactivity is present in human liver, where it localizes very specifically to the membrane regions, which appear most probably involved in the transport of bicarbonate to bile (i.e., the canalicular membrane of hepatocytes and the apical side of epithelial cells of small and medium bile ducts).
CITATION Hepatology. 1994 Jun;19(6):1400-6