Glycoproteins having mannose and/or N-acetylglucosamine in the terminal non-reducing position [Stockert, Morell & Scheinberg (1976) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 68, 988–993], and various lysosomal enzymes [Stahl, Schlesinger, Rodman & Doebber (1976) Nature (London) 264, 86–8] are rapidly cleared from plasma by the liver after intravenous administration. A liver cell-separation technique was used to determine the cellular localization of 125I-labelled beta-glucuronidase, ribonuclease B, agalacto-orosomucoid and asialo-orosomucoid. On a specific readioactivity basis, all ligands except 125I-labelled asialo-orosomucoid were enriched in the non-parenchymal cell fraction. Isolated cells, fixed and stained for beta-glucuronidase or N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity after intravenous injection of the enzymes, showed enrichment in the non-parenchymal cell fraction (probably Kupffer cells). After uptake by the non-parenchymal cells, liver lysosomal beta-glucuronidase and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase showed degradation half-times of 2.2 and 0.4 days respectively.

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