Aldehyde-fixed, EDTA-demineralized frozen sections of the rat maxillary incisor were histochemically stained for carbonic anhydrase activity, by use of Hansson's method. Intense staining was observed in the odontoblasts, all types of epithelial cells of enamel organ in the maturation zone, cementoblasts, and the cells of the lingual dental sac. Less intense but consistent staining was observed in all types of epithelial cells of odontogenic origin directly facing the pulp and pulp cells adjacent to the odontoblast cell layer in the apical part of the pulp, and was considered due to the carbonic anhydrase-catalyzed reaction. Staining of these cells was completely inhibited by heat pretreatment (120°C, 30 min), 10-6 mol/L acetazolamide in the incubation medium, incubation by continuous immersion under the liquid surface, and omission of the substrate, NaHCO3. The dentin also exhibited heavy staining which was inhibited by the heat pre-treatment. However, this dentinal staining resisted the inhibition by 10-3 mol/L acetazolamide and was not inhibited by incubation by continuous immersion or incubation without the substrate NaHCO3. The dentinal staining was thus judged to have been due to non-enzymatic cobalt precipitation.
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