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J Anat. 1992 Feb;180 ( Pt 1):41-56.

Cytochemical localisation and characterisation of proteoglycans (glycosaminoglycans) in the epithelial-stromal interface of the seminal vesicle of the guinea pig.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong.


The proteoglycans (PGs) in the guinea pig seminal vesicle were demonstrated ultrastructurally by both cuprolinic blue (CB) and ruthenium red (RR) staining. The PGs appeared as electron-dense granules with RR, but were filamentous following CB staining using the critical electrolyte concentration method. Three major types of PGs (T1, T2, T3) have been described according to their different locations and sizes. T1 filaments were short and were found mostly on both sides of the lamina densa of the basal lamina of the glandular epithelium (40-60 nm long) and also on the basal laminae of smooth muscle cells and capillary endothelial cells (20-30 nm long). In the epithelial basal lamina they were regularly spaced at an interval of 40-60 nm. T1 filaments in the lamina densa were smaller and more randomly distributed. Cytochemical characterisation of these PGs by various GAG degrading enzymes showed that T1 PGs are rich in heparan sulphate. T2 filaments were 30-40 nm long and closely associated with the collagen fibrils. They were arranged perpendicular to the long axis of collagen fibrils, also at intervals of about 60 nm. T2 filaments were removed by chondroitinase (Ch)-ABC, Ch-ABC plus Streptomyces (S)-hyaluronidase and pronase, but resistant to nitrous acid, heparitinase, heparinase, neuraminidase and S-hyaluronidase. These show that T2 filaments are rich in dermatan sulphate. T3 filaments (60-100 nm) were widely distributed in the stroma at sites such as the interstitial spaces of the lamina propria, the reticular layer below the basal lamina, around individual collagen fibrils or bundles of such fibres, and on the cell surfaces of fibroblasts. The T3 filaments were removed by Ch-ABC, Ch-AC and pronase but were resistant to heparitinase, heparinase, S-hyaluronidase, neuraminidase and nitrous acid. They are therefore rich in chondroitin sulphate.

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