The contents of extracellular superoxide dismutase, CuZn superoxide dismutase and Mn superoxide dismutase were determined in tissues from nine mammalian species. The pattern of CuZn superoxide dismutase distribution was similar in all species, with high activity in metabolically active organs such as liver and kidney and low activity in, for example, skeletal muscle. Mn superoxide dismutase activity was high in organs with high respiration, such as liver, kidney, and myocardium. Overall the Mn superoxide dismutase activity in organs was almost as high as the CuZn superoxide dismutase activity. The content of extracellular superoxide dismutase was, almost without exception, lower than the content of the other isoenzymes. The pattern of tissue distribution was distinctly different from those of CuZn superoxide dismutase and Mn superoxide dismutase. The tissue distribution of extracellular superoxide dismutase differed among species, but in general there was much in lungs and kidneys and little in skeletal muscle. In man, pig, sheep, cow, rabbit and mouse the overall tissue extracellular superoxide dismutase activities were similar to each other, whereas dog, cat and rat tissues contained distinctly less. There was no general correlation between the tissue extracellular superoxide dismutase activity of any of the various species and the variable plasma activity. The ratio between the plasma and the overall tissue activities was high, for some species over unity, providing further evidence for the notion that one role of extracellular superoxide dismutase is as a plasma protein.

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