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Lectin binding patterns in two cultured endothelial cell types derived from bovine corpus luteum


Epithelial cells of different phenotypes derived from bovine corpus luteum have been studied intensively in our laboratory. In this study, specific lectin binding was examined for cells of type 1 and 3, which were defined as endothelial cells. In order to confirm differences in their glycocalyx at the light microscopic level, five biotinylated lectins were applied to postconfluent cultures which had been fixed with buffered paraformaldehyde or glutaraldehyde. Cells were not permeabilized with any detergent. Lectin binding was localized with a streptavidin-peroxidase complex which was visualized with two different techniques. The DAB technique detected peroxidase histochemically, while the immunogold technique used an anti-peroxidase gold complex together with silver amplification. Neither cell type 1 nor cell type 3 bound a particular lectin selectively, yet each cell type expressed a particular lectin binding pattern. With the DAB technique, diverse lectin binding patterns were seen, probably indicating either “outside” binding, i.e., a diffuse pattern, a lateral-cell-side pattern and a microvillus-like pattern, or “inside” binding, i.e., a diffuse pattern, and a granule-like pattern. With the immunogold technique, only “outside” binding was observed. In addition, the patterns of single cilia or of single circles were detected, the latter roughly representing 3-μm-sized binding sites for concanavalin A. When localizing them at the ultrastructural level, single circles corresponded with micron-sized discontinuities of the plasma membrane. Shedding vesicles were detected whose outer embrane was labelled with concanavalin A. Our results confirm the diversity of the two cell types under study. The “inside” lectin binding may be caused by way of transient plasma membrane openings and related to shedding of right-side out vesicles (“ectocytosis”).

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Correspondence to Gudrun Herrman.

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Herrman, G., Missfelder, H. & Spanel-Borowski, K. Lectin binding patterns in two cultured endothelial cell types derived from bovine corpus luteum. Histochem Cell Biol 105, 129–137 (1996).

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  • Concanavalin
  • Diffuse Pattern
  • Ultrastructural Level
  • Lectin Binding
  • Light Microscopic Level