The distribution of the reaction product of a staining method for adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) in rat small intestine, kidney, and liver was studied with electron microscopy. Several procedures were tried but the best results were obtained from tissue that had been quenched in liquid nitrogen, sectioned at 25 µ in a cryostat, fixed for 30 to 90 minutes at 4°C in formalin-sucrose buffered to pH 7.2, incubated with substrate, and then osmicated and prepared for electron microscopy in the usual way. This procedure enabled the localization of mitochondrial ATPase to be studied. In tissue fixed in small blocks in osmium tetroxide for 3 minutes prior to incubation with substrate, good preservation was noted, and the reaction product for ATPase was localized on the cell membrane and nuclei. The reaction product was present in abundant amount in the nuclei, and particularly within nucleoli, of all tissues studied. Because the histochemical localization of nuclear enzymes poses numerous interpretative problems at the present time, the significance of this nuclear localization is uncertain. Cell (plasma) membranes were the site of localization, especially at areas where it has been proposed that active transport mechanisms may occur, namely, on the microvilli of intestinal epithelium, endothelial lining of capillaries, glomerular epithelial cell membranes, basal infoldings of the cell membrane of renal tubules, on the microvilli of bile canaliculi, and on the microvilli of proximal convoluted tubular epithelial cells. ATPase localization on the cristae mitochondriales was also demonstrated.

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