Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary A study was made of the modifications of glycoconjugates in rat colonic mucosa during development. Sections of the caecum, and proximal and distal portions of the colon from Sprague Dawley rats at different stages of development (embryos, fetuses, suckling, weaning and adult rats) were examined. The sections were incubated with a battery of eight fluoresceinated lectins: DBA, SBA, WGA, LFA, PNA, GS-I, UEA-I and Con A. Some sections were treated with neuraminidase, and others were submitted to sequential saponification-neuraminidase treatment prior to incubation with the lectin (WGA, PNA or LFA). The intensity of the fluorescence was evaluated and graded from absent (−) to very positive (4+). Gradual and progressive changes were seen in colonic glycoconjugates during development. These changes revealed a unique developmental pattern for each lectin, which was independent for each cellular compartment (goblet cells, luminal surface and supranuclear region). Local and regional differences, observed between the different colonic sections, were already present from early stages of development. Moreover, our study showed that for several glycoconjugates, the differentiation process in colonic mucosa began in the distal region and continued through to the proximal region, the former being the first to reach the adult pattern. In the caecum, some lectins maintained a fetal pattern throughout all the periods of development up to the adult stage.
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