Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Glycoproteins are associated with several structures of colonic absorptive cells of the mouse. These include the cell coat, Golgi apparatus and vesicles that transport the glycoproteins from the apparatus to the cell surface (Michaels and Leblond 1976). In many in vitro systems, the antibiotic tunicamycin inhibits the glycosylation of asparagine residues yielding carbohydrate-poor glycoproteins. In the present in vivo study, tunicamycin was injected into mice. The murine colonic epithelial cells were prepared routinely for electron microscopy and cytochemistry. Cells from the experimental and control animals were similar morphologically. However, staining by the periodic acid-chromic acid-silver methenamine technique, revealed differences in the distribution of glycoproteins. In animals that received the higher dosages of tunicamycin there was a substantial reduction in silver staining in both the Golgi apparatus and the vesicles of colonic epithelial cells compared to these structures in cells of identically treated control tissues, whereas the staining over the cell coat was not significantly altered. Possible explanations for the staining of the cell coat in the treated animals were provided in the text. This report demonstrates the feasibility of using tunicamycin in vivo and detection of the changes obtained by the silver methenamine method.
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