A preliminary study on the glycosylation of the reproductive tract in the Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus)

Carolyn J P Jones, John D Aplin, Cyriel Ververs, William R Twink Allen, Kate Burns, Sandra Wilsher

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Glycosylation of the reproductive tract of an adult female red-necked ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) carrying a fully formed calcified egg in her uterus when accidently killed by a blow to the head was examined using lectin histochemistry on samples from the infundibulum, magnum, uterus and vagina. Glycans in the luminal epithelium and underlying glands were described after staining with 23 lectins after neuraminidase pre-treatment in some cases. Ciliated and non-ciliated cells were evident at all levels in the luminal epithelium, the latter full of richly glycosylated secretory granules. The ciliated cells also showed glycosylation and, in the magnum, these cells often stained more intensely than the non-ciliated cells. High mannose and complex N-glycans, α1,6-linked fucosyl and sialic acid residues were present throughout the tract and there was a complete absence of GalNAcα1,3(LFucα1,2)Galß1,3/4GlcNAcß1- and rare terminal GalNAcα1- residues. Fucose in α1,2-linkage as H2 antigen and Ley was also rare in the luminal epithelium and completely absent in glands. Terminal galactose was present in the luminal epithelium apart from in the infundibulum. Gland epithelium showed similar glycosylation to the luminal epithelium except in the magnum where there were significant differences and here the glands were packed full of large secretory granules, unlike the glands in the rest of the tract. Each section of the tract had its own specific pattern of glycosylation which could be related to the stage of egg formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • glycans
  • lectins
  • oviduct
  • Struthioniformes
  • uterus
  • vagina


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