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Histochemistry. 1990;95(2):179-87.

Glycoconjugate distribution in the human fundic mucosa revealed by lectin- and glycoprotein-gold cytochemistry.

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Department of Cell Biology, Medical School, University of Murcia, Spain.


The glycoconjugates of the human fundic mucosa were characterized at the ultrastructural level by means of direct (Helix pomatia agglutinin-gold complex) and indirect lectin techniques (Concanavalin A and horseradish peroxidase-gold complex; wheat germ agglutinin and ovomucoid-gold complex). Surface mucous cells and mucous neck cells secreted O-glycoproteins with N-acetylgalactosamine and N-acetylglucosamine residues at the non reducing terminus of the saccharidic chain. The secretory granules of the mucous neck cells showed condensed areas slightly reactive to ConA. The results obtained in the chief cells suggest that these cells secrete N-glycoproteins rich in mannose and/or glucose residues. "Transitional cells", presenting both morphological characteristics and lectin binding pattern intermediate to the mucous neck and chief cells have been observed. The surface of the intracellular canaliculi of the parietal cell was labelled by HPA, WGA and ConA. In the neck region of the gastric glands, immature parietal cells containing abundant mucous granules reactive to HPA, WGA and ConA were observed. The present results further corroborate the existence of a common cell precursor for surface mucous, mucous neck and parietal cells. In a further step, mucous neck cells gradually differentiate into chief cells the transitional cells being an intermediate stage.

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