The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 597–608 | Cite as

Identification of glycoproteins in goblet cells of epidermis and gill of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.), flounder (Platichthys flesus (L.)) and rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri Richardson)

  • Thelma C. Fletcher
  • Rosemary Jones
  • Lynne Reid


A quantitative analysis has been made of the glycoproteins present in the goblet cells of the epidermis, gill filaments and gill lamellae of three species of teleost fish. The glycoproteins have been identified by a combination of techniques, including the use of the enzyme sialidase followed by Alcian Blue staining, at pH 2.6 or I. o, in combination with periodic acid-Schiff. The selected fish were representative of species living in marine, freshwater and estuarine environments.

The range of glycoproteins identified in these fish was similar to that found in mammalian tissue in that both neutral and acid glycoproteins were present, the latter included both sialomucins sensitive and resistant to sialidase, and sulphomucin. A single goblet cell contained either neutral or acid glycoproteins alone or in combination. Only the epidermis of the plaice and rainbow trout contained uniform cell populations producing acid glycoproteins, the former sulphomucin and the latter mainly sialomucin. At each site in the flounder and in the gill epithelia of the plaice and rainbow trout, the goblet cell population was mixed, with cells producing each type of glycoprotein. The number of goblet cells producing each type of glycoprotein varied at each tissue site.


Rainbow Trout Goblet Cell Blue Staining Mammalian Tissue Alcian Blue 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thelma C. Fletcher
    • 1
  • Rosemary Jones
    • 2
  • Lynne Reid
    • 2
  1. 1.N.E.R.C. Institute of Marine BiochemistryAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Pathology, Cardiothoracic InstituteBrompton HospitalLondonUK

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