Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), an amino acid transport enzyme, was investigated in normal and degenerated sciatic nerve of rat. The enzyme activity, which is considered to be a marker for cerebrovascular endothelium, was found to be absent in microvessels of normal and degenerated nerves. In the perineurium of normal nerve, GGT activity was faint, while in degenerated nerve, it increased. The most striking finding of this study was the observation of GGT activity at the paranode of each normal myelinated axon. It is interesting that after axotomy (8 weeks), no GGT activity was observed in the Schwann cells of degenerated nerve. Thus, Schwann cell plasmalemma contributed to GGT staining only when this cell was in contact with an axon mature enough to cause it to produce myelin. We conclude that, in peripheral nerve, transmembrane amino acid transport is apparently regional and associated with the paranodal region of myelinated nerve fibers.
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