Cyprinus carpio skeletal muscle kallikrein was isolated to apparent homogeneity, and a polyclonal antiserum against the purified protein was generated. Glandular kallikrein expression and tissue distribution were assessed using both Western blots and immunohistochemistry. A 39-kDa protein was detected in skeletal muscle, the gill, kidney, and pituitary gland, where an additional 72-kDa immunoreactive band was observed. Immunohistochemistry revealed immunoreactive kallikrein in the intermuscle tissue, epithelial gill cells, apical portion of distal and proximal tubular cells in the kidney, mucus and epithelial cells of the skin, intestinal tube, and prolactin-producing cells of the pituitary gland. In addition, the effect of 17β-estradiol on kallikrein expression was analyzed in three different tissues of winter- and summer-acclimatized male carps. A 2.5-fold (p<0.05) increase in kallikrein immunoreactivity due to estrogen treatment was observed in winter-acclimatized carp muscle, but not in summer-acclimatized fish. In contrast, the gill responded differently, since a 2-fold (p<0.05) increase was found only in summer-acclimatized carps. Kallikrein immunoreactivity in the kidney increased both in summer- (2.5 fold) and in winter-acclimatized carps (1.5 fold). The signals obtained demonstrate the existence of tissue-specific variable responses to estrogen treatment in vivo, between winter and summer-acclimatized carp.
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