2011 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 211-219
Plasma alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity is frequently measured in toxicity studies. In the present study, we assessed the usefulness of a commercially available polyacrylamide-gel (PAG) disk electrophoresis kit used in humans (AlkPhor System, Jokoh Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) for identifying plasma ALP isoenzymes in mice of the Crlj:CD1 strain (ICR mice), which are commonly used in toxicity studies. We also examined age-related changes in plasma ALP isoenzymes in ICR mice. Electrophoresis was performed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In order to identify the origin of each ALP isoenzyme, in addition to plasma samples, tissue ALP extracts from the liver, bone and small intestine were treated with neuraminidase, anti-small intestinal ALP antibody, ALP inhibitor levamisole and/or wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). The kit revealed that main plasma ALP isoenzyme in intact ICR mice was bone-derived one, and it tended to decrease with age. On the other hand, liver-derived ALP isoenzyme greatly increased in plasma of cholestasis model mice induced by bile duct ligation. This model mouse had also a large molecular ALP detected in the stacking gel. This ALP was thought to be of intestinal origin because its activity remained even after levamisole inhibition. In addition, a minimum sample volume for sufficient resolution of plasma ALP isoenzymes was only 14 µl. The results of this study suggest that the present method is a useful tool for detecting plasma ALP isoenzymes in mice and that pre-treatment of plasma with neuraminidase and concomitant levamisole inhibition with another gel is applicable for the evaluation of organ toxicity.