The enzyme aminopeptidase P (AP-P) is encountered in diverse vertebrate and invertebrate phyla and is known to act on proteins and peptides by releasing their N-terminal amino acid when the penultimate amino acid is proline. The present study is the first attempt at visualizing distribution of this polypeptide in the brain of a vertebrate species. The distribution of this enzyme was studied immunocytochemically in the forebrain of frog Microhyla ornata using antisera directed against cytosolic aminopeptidase P (DAP-P) of Drosophila melanogaster. Receptor cells in the olfactory epithelium exhibited strong AP-P like immunoreaction (ir). Immunoreactive fibers arising from the olfactory epithelium as well as vomeronasal organ joined the olfactory nerve, entered into the olfactory bulb, or accessory olfactory bulb and terminated in distinct glomerular formations. Some immunoreactive fibers traveled caudally and terminated in discrete areas in the telencephalon or diencephalon. Strong AP-P-ir was also seen in the cells of pars intermedia and pars distalis of the pituitary. The pattern of immunoreactivity suggests a role for AP-P in the processing of olfactory information and in hypophysial regulation.
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