Genetic differences in the histochemically defined structure of oligosaccharides in mice.

S. S. Spicer, S. L. Erlandsen, A. C. Wilson, M. F. Hammer, R. A. Hennigar, B. A. Schulte

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20 Scopus citations


A wide range of tissues from three interfertile species of mice and an interspecific hybrid was examined with lectins conjugated to peroxidase to localize specifically glycoconjugates containing terminal alpha-N-acetylgalactosamine, alpha-galactose, and alpha-fucose, and the terminal disaccharide galactose-(beta 1----3)-N-acetylgalactosamine. This battery of lectins disclosed marked heterogeneity of glycoconjugates in different histological sites in a given animal and even between cells in a presumably homogeneous cell population within an organ. No variation with any lectin was observed between individuals of two closely related inbred strains of Mus domesticus at any specific histological or cytological site. In contrast, littermates of an outbred strain of Mus castaneus differed in binding of certain lectins at various sites, attesting to a genetic basis for individual variation. Hybrids between castaneus and domesticus mice also showed individual variation. Moreover, extensive differences between the mouse species were demonstrable with every lectin in glycoconjugates of stored secretions, Golgi cisternae, and apical or basolateral plasmalemma in many cell types. Totaling the differences in tabulated staining intensities for each possible species pair gave a measure of the overall extent of difference at 53 histological sites. According to this measure, the three species are about equally divergent from one another. Some differences between species appeared to depend on histological rather than histochemical variation, as, for example, a greater abundance of granular duct cells in the sublingual and submandibular glands in Mus hortulanus. Other differences were apparently derived from pathological change, as exemplified by casts and lymphoid infiltrates in kidney and structurally atypical submandibular gland lobules in Mus castaneus, and possibly by infiltrating cells in intestinal lamina propria and epithelium in Mus castaneus and hortulanus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1244
Number of pages14
JournalThe journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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