Histochemical methods for characterizing secretory and cell surface sialoglycoconjugates

  • Schulte B
  • Spicer S
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Abstract

Paraffin sections of trachea, sublingual gland, and pancreas from rats, mice, and hamsters were stained with peanut agglutinin (PNA) or Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) conjugated to horseradish peroxidase before or after enzymatic removal of sialic acid. Adjacent sections were oxidized with periodate prior to incubation with sialidase and staining with PNA and DBA. PNA binding demonstrated terminal beta-galactose in secretions, at the basolateral plasmalemma of mouse tracheal serous cells, in or at the surface of zymogen granules, and at the apical and basolateral surface of mouse and hamster pancreatic acinar cells. Sialidase digestion revealed PNA binding, demonstrative of penultimate beta-galactose, in secretions of mucous cells in tracheal and sublingual glands and at the apical glycocalyx of ciliated and secretory cells in the tracheal surface epithelium of all the rodents studied. Sialidase also imparted PNA affinity to endothelium in all three species and to secretions and the basolateral plasmalemma of tracheal serous cells and pancreatic acinar cells in the rat. Periodate oxidation blocked the enzymatic removal of N-acetylneuraminic acid as judged by prevention of staining with the sialidase-PNA procedure. Sites in which periodate prevented sialidase-PNA staining included pancreatic islet cells and at the luminal glycocalyx of ciliated and secretory cells in tracheal surface epithelium in all three rodents, most sublingual mucous cells in the hamster, pancreatic acinar cells in the rat, and endothelium, except that of the rat. Glycoconjugate in other sites remained positive with the periodate-sialidase-PNA sequence. Resistance to periodate was interpreted as evidence for the presence of terminal sialic acid with an O-acetylated polyhydroxyl side chain. DBA binding demonstrated terminal alpha-N-acetylgalactosamine in the secretion of all mucous cells in the hamster trachea and 50-90% of those in the rat, secretion and the basolateral plasmalemma of all glandular serous cells in the mouse trachea, at the apical surface of most secretory cells lining the lumen of the rat and hamster trachea, and cilia of 5-10% of ciliated cells in the rat trachea. Periodate oxidation and sialidase digestion demonstrated N-acetylneuraminic acid and penultimate alpha-N-acetylgalactosamine in cilia in the mouse trachea and sialic acid containing O-acetylated polyhydroxyl side chains subtended by N-acetylgalactosamine in the secretion of all mucous cells in the rat and hamster trachea and of 80-90% of mucous cells in the hamster sublingual gland.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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Authors

  • B. A. Schulte

  • S. S. Spicer

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