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Acta Histochem. 1999 Jul;101(3):317-26.

Lectin binding patterns in amphibian skin epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology and Marine Ecology, University of Messina, Italia.


Seven lectins (PNA, DBA, WGA, UEA-I, RCA, SBA, Con A) were used to localize glycoconjugates in the skin of 10 species of Amphibia, 7 anurans (Bufo marinus, Bufo bufo, Rana ridibunda, Rana pipiens, Hyla arborea, Pelobates syriacus and Xenopus laevis) and 3 urodeles (Salamandra salamandra, Triturus vulgaris and Ambystoma mexicanum). It was found that every lectin has a specific binding pattern in the skin of each species. No common pattern could be established, either among frogs or toads, nor for a particular lectin. Each lectin bound specifically and selectively to a particular epithelial component, which differed from one species to the other. A number of lectins showed selective binding to mitochondria-rich cells, but, again, a pattern in positivity could not be found. It is concluded that lectin histochemistry does correlate with cellular function. Our data can be applied in studies of epithelium and skin development, and of changes that occur during adaptation to the environment by amphibian species.

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