Letter | Published:

Histochemical Demonstration of Lipase Activity in the Pectoralis Major Muscle of the Pigeon


OUR earlier observation that the pigeon breast muscle contains a lipase1 has led to the present attempt to demonstrate its presence in this muscle using histochemical methods. The ‘Tween’ method of Gomori2 was chosen for the purpose. The substrate used was ‘Tween 80’ (Atlas). The incubation medium contained 2 ml. 10 per cent calcium chloride, 2 ml. 5 per cent ‘Tween 80’, 5 ml. bicarbonate buffer3 of pH 8.4, 40 ml. distilled water and a crystal of thymol as preservative. The mixture was kept overnight in an oven at 40° C. and the precipitate formed was filtered off before use. Sections were incubated for 10–12 hr. at 40° C., which is the optimum temperature for this lipase1. Parallel experiments were run with sections of pancreas of the same animal for comparison and confirmation of the results. It was noted that acetone destroyed the lipase, and experiments with paraffin sections of tissue fixed in acetone yielded negative results.

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  1. 1

    George, J. C., and Scaria, K. S., J. Anim. Morph. Physiol., 3, 91 (1956).

  2. 2

    Gomori, G., “Microscopic Histochemistry, Principles and Practice” (Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, 1953).

  3. 3

    Sneath, P. H. A., cited by Pearse .

  4. 4

    Pearse, A. G., “Histochemistry, Theoretical and Applied” (J. and A. Churchill, London, 1954).

  5. 5

    George, J. C., and Naik, R. M., J. Anim. Morph. Physiol., 4, 23 (1957).

  6. 6

    George, J. C., and Naik, R. M., Nature [181, 709 (1958)].

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