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J Vet Med Sci. 2013;75(9):1131-7. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Lectin histochemical studies on the vomeronasal organ of the sheep.

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  • 1United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu, Gifu 501-1193, Japan.


The vomeronasal organ of sheep was examined using lectin histochemistry in order to compare the types and amounts of the glycoconjugates among various components of the vomeronasal sensory and non-sensory epithelia. In the vomeronasal sensory epithelium, Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) stained particular cells, located at the same level as the vomeronasal receptor cells, while the distribution, shape and number of the stained cells did not correspond to those of the vomeronasal receptor cells. Datura stramonium lectin (DSL), Concanavalin A (Con A), Phaseolus vulgaris agglutinin-E (PHA-E) and Phaseolus vulgaris agglutinin-L (PHA-L) labeled the basal cells of both vomeronasal sensory and non-sensory epithelia. While, Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), Succinylated-wheat germ agglutinin (s-WGA), Lycopersicon esculentum lectin (LEL), Solanum tuberosum lectin (STL) and Ricinus communis agglutinin-I (RCA-120) labeled the basal cells of the sensory epithelium, and Bandeiraea simplicifolia lectin-I (BSL-I) stained the basal cells of the non-sensory epithelium, respectively. Seventeen lectins labeled the free border of both vomeronasal sensory and non-sensory epithelia, while Sophora japonica agglutinin (SJA), Jacalin and Pisum sativum agglutinin (PSA) labeled neither free border of the sensory nor that of non-sensory epithelia. The expression pattern of glycoconjugate was similar, but not identical, in the free border between the sensory and non-sensory epithelia. These results indicate that there are dissimilar features in the type and amount of glycoconjugates between the vomeronasal sensory and non-sensory epithelia, and at the same time, among the various cell types either in the vomeronasal sensory or non-sensory epithelium.

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