Decidual sialylation shows species-specific differences in the pregnant mouse and rat.

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    Biotinylated lectins from Sambucus nigra (SNA) and Maackia amurensis (MAA), which bind to alpha 2,6-linked and alpha 2,3-linked sialyl residues, respectively, were used as probes to study glycan terminal modifications associated with decidualization in the uterine stroma of pregnant rats and mice. Binding of lectins from Erythrina cristagalli (ECA), Phaseolus vulgaris (leukoagglutinin, L-PHA), Triticum vulgaris (WGA) and Bandeiraea simplicifolia (BSA-1B4) was also examined. Tissues from rats between day 5 and day 8 of gestation and mice between day 5 and day 7 of gestation were fixed in Bouin's solution and embedded in wax prior to lectin histochemistry. On day 7 in rats and day 6 in mice, there was a marked reduction in the binding of SNA in the subluminal decidua surrounding the implantation site. In rats, MAA binding to enlarged decidual cells around the implantation chamber was increased markedly, but there was no change in mice. In both species there was de novo binding of ECA in the SNA-negative area, suggesting that the loss of alpha 2,6-linked sialyl residues unmasks terminal N-acetyl lactosamine. These findings are consistent with previous evidence of a close structural and functional similarity between the artificially induced deciduoma and true decidua of rats and show identical changes to the glycosylation patterns previously found in differentiating rat deciduoma. In both species, therefore, decidua exhibits regionally specific terminal glycosylation. However, the species-specific expression of alpha 2,3-linked sialyl residues suggests distinct patterns of steroidally modulated sialyl transferase expression.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)241-250
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of reproduction and fertility
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996


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