, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 80-86

Localization of glycoconjugates at the tegument of the tapeworms Hymenolepis nana and H. microstoma with gold labelled lectins

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Abstract

Gold labelled lectins were used for electron microscopic localization of carbohydrate components of the tegument surface of two tapeworm species, Hymenolepis nana and H. microstoma. WGA, succinylated WGA, SBA, APA, PNA and, to a lesser extent, Con A were preferentially bound to the spines of the microtrichs. UEA-I and DBA were not adsorbed. The results indicate that the surface coat of both species has exposed N-acetylglucosamine, galactose and perhaps glucose and/or mannose residues.

The location of lectin-binding glycoconjugates within the tegument and parenchyma was found using the light microscope on sections of material embedded in Lowikryl K4M after lectin-gold labelling and silver enhancement of the gold grains. The tegument selectively adsorbs WGA and SBA and strongly; adsorbtion of PNA and Con A is less intense. Strong adsorbtion of DBA and PNA was confined to the basal lamina. The parenchyma adsorbed Con A, PNA and DBA, but little WGA and SBA.

The results indicate that many glycoconjugates are present in the tegument. They have similar terminal sugar residues to those of the surface coat. The significance of these carbohydrates for hostparasite interactions is discussed.