The localization of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) was determined using immunohistochemistry of various tissues of normal and transgenic mice which express the human enzyme, with emphasis on studies of mouse kidney and lung. Mouse kidney and lung were studied using both frozen section analysis and paraffin sections following fixation in a variety of fixatives. Formalin fixation resulted in a loss of antigenicity, while fixation in zinc formalin or B5 fixative gave results similar to those from frozen sections. Immunoperoxidase studies using antibodies to MnSOD showed greater staining in transgenic kidney or lung than in identical tissues in normal mice when appropriate fixation was used. In contrast, equal immunostaining was obtained in kidney or lung from normal and transgenic mice when antibodies to catalase or copper zinc superoxide dismutase were utilized. Immunogold ultrastructural analysis of MnSOD localization for lung and kidney was also performed. As compared to normal mice, transgenic mice exhibited greater staining of the mitochondria of kidney interstitial fibroblasts and glomerular, endothelial, and smooth muscle cells. In the lungs of transgenic animals, all cells showed increased staining; smooth muscle cells demonstrated the most marked increase in immunolabelling. The results indicate that these transgenic mice overexpress MnSOD in their mitochondria, and that this occurs selectively in at least some mesenchymal tissues.
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