Electron microscopic immunohistochemical identification of endothelial cells in the rabbit.
Antibody to tissue factor apoprotein was adsorbed against gamma-globulin and coupled to horseradish peroxidase; this complex was applied to various rabbit tissues. The distribution of the peroxidase marker then was observed by electron microscopy. We examined fixed or frozen sections, as well as breis of aorta, vena cava, brain, heart, lung, liver, spleen, kidney, bone marrow, mesothelial gut lining, erythrocytes, and platelets. All endothelial cells that had been exposed to the antibody complex were positive and in all cases only the endothelial cells showed localization of the electron-dense reaction product. Tissues that had been incubated with complexes prepared with gamma-globulin from animals not immunized with tissue factor apoprotein showed no staining. Prior treatment of the tissue with uncoupled anti-tissue factor gamma-globulin blocked binding by the coupled antibody. In blood vessel preparations that had been specifically designed to expose the media to the anti-tissue factor complex, medial smooth muscle cells and connective tissue showed no reaction product. Parenchymal cells of the other other organs mentioned likewise were devoid of reaction product. Similarly, the leukocytes and platelets occasionally observed in vessel lumens showed no evidence of binding. Platelets adhering to arterial subendothelial structure after injury also were unreactive. These findings suggest that in normal rabbits anti-tissue factor-horseradish peroxidase complex combines selectively with endothelial cells.
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