Studies in vivo of the tissue uptake, cellular distribution and catabolic turnover of exogenous glucocerebrosidase in rat

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The kinetics of plasma clearance of highly purified human placental glucocerebrosidase in rats were biphasic with 75% of the infused dose showing a rapid clearance (t1/2 = 11 min) and the remaining 25% a considerably lower rate (t1/2 = 60 min). The majority of the enzyme (60%) was taken up by the liver. Although saturation kinetics for the clearance or uptake were not observed, the very high hepatic endocytic index (217 microliter/min) of glucocerebrosidase uptake indicated that liver uptake was mediated by an adsorptive endocytic process. Analysis of the cellular distribution of recovered glucocerebrosidase revealed predominantly parenchymal cell uptake with 38% of the exogenous enzyme in hepatocytes and only 2% in sinusoidal cells. High-mannose glycoproteins blocked hepatocyte and sinusoidal cell uptake of glucocerebrosidase equally. Kinetic experiments failed to demonstrate a transfer or shuttle of exogenous glucocerebrosidase from sinusoidal cells to hepatocytes. The possibility was raised that uptake of enzyme by the liver may be mediated by a common receptor that functions in both hepatocytes and sinusoidal cells. The catabolic turnover of exogenous glucocerebrosidase in rat liver was biphasic and the rate of decline was similar in hepatocytes and sinusoidal cells.