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Histochem J. 2000 Jun;32(6):325-36.

Temporal and spatial regulation of expression of two galectins during kidney development of the chicken.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Tierarztliche Fakultät, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany.


Organogenesis and the establishment of the mature phenotype require an interplay between diverse recognition systems. Concerning protein-carbohydrate interactions, galectins are known to be involved in several extra- and intracellular functions. Due to the occurrence of two avian galectins in liver (chicken galectin-16 CG-16) and intestine (chicken galectin-14; CG-14) with different developmental regulation. the questions addressed are to what extent and where these galectins are present during chicken kidney development. Using Western blot analysis, the presence of both activities in tissue extracts was ascertained. A solid-phase assay showed peak levels at day 12 followed by a decline. A histochemical analysis was carried out in combination with routine staining. Epithelial cells of the mesonephric proximal tubules were immunoreactive in the cytoplasm for CG-14 from day 5 of incubation onwards. Additionally, epithelial cells of the metanephric collecting ducts were stained. For CG-16 a rather similar pattern of staining was seen, additional positivity in early glomerular podocytes being notable. At the electron microscopical level, a diffuse staining for CG-14 was seen in the cytoplasm, whereas immunoreactivity for CG-16 was observed mainly in mitochondria. These results demonstrate quantitative differences in the developmental regulation of the two avian galectins with obvious similarities in the cell-type pattern but with a disparate intracellular localisation profile.

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