Introduction: Glycoconjugates are molecules with a carbohydrate bounded to proteins. The terminal sugars of glycoconjugates are specific identified by lectins. Glycoconjugates play an important role in various developmental processes. This study examines the developmental changes in certain glycoconjugates during the development of Meckel's cartilage through lectin histochemistry.
Materials and Methods:10-15-day-old Balb/C mice embryos as well as 18-day-old fetuses were fixed in formalin. Serial sections of the samples were gathered for incubation with three types of conjugated lectins with HRP enzyme including: Glycine max (SBA) specific to N-acetylgalactoseamin (GalNAc)، Arachis hypogaea (PNA) specific to Galactose / N-acetylgalactoseamin (Gal/GalNAc) and Maclura Pomifera (MPA) specific to Galactose (Gal). The enzymatic reactions were then studied using optical microscope.
Results: Our results indicated that terminal carbohydrate of GalNac and terminal disaccharide of Gal/GalNAc were presented from initiate condensation of mesenchyme cells in the center of first branchial arch until the end of Meckel's cartilage development. But terminal carbohydrate of Gal was noticed from day 13 on. .
Conclusion: Our study showed that glycoconjugates with terminal carbohydrate of N-acetylgalactoseamin and terminal disaccharide of Galactose / N-acetylgalactoseamin have critical role in condensation of mesenchyme cells, cartilage formation and chondrocyte differentiation to osteocyte. Furthermore, glycoconjugates with terminal carbohydrate of Galactose probably play an important role in chondrocyte differentiation to osteoblasts.
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