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Simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens in major salivary glands

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Simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens Tn, sialosyl-Tn and T are often markers of neoplastic transformation and have very limited expression in normal tissues. We performed an immunohistological study of simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens, including H and A variants, with well-defined monoclonal antibodies (MAb) on frozen and paraffin-embedded normal salivary gland tissue from 22 parotid, 14 submandibular, six sublingual, and 13 labial glands to elucidate the simple mucin-type glycosylation pattern in relation to cyto- and histodifferentiation. The investigated carbohydrate structures were predominantly observed in the cell cytoplasm, most often in the supranuclear area, suggesting localization to the Golgi region, whereas ductal contents were unstained. Mucous acinar cells expressed Tn, sialosyl-Tn, and H and A antigens, regardless of glandular location. Serous acinar cells, on the other hand, expressed A, H, and inconstantly sialosyl-T, Tn, and sialosyl-Tn antigens in major salivary glands, whereas serous cells of minor (labial) salivary glands expressed H exclusively, Tn and sialosyl-T antigens inconstantly, but never sialosyl-Tn and A antigens. The difference may be related to a more simple cytodifferentiation of serous cells of minor (labial) salivary glands as compared with major salivary glands. Duct cells in major salivary glands expressed A, H, and inconstantly T, sialosyl-T, and Tn antigens, whereas minor (labial) salivary glands ducts exclusively expressed H, T and sialosyl-T antigens, differences that may be related to dissimilarities in the duct system. Myoepithelial cells and basal cells exclusively expressed T and sialosyl-T antigens, which may prove useful in studies of salivary gland tumors, since these cells are known to play a key role in the histological characteristics of some salivary gland tumors. The results indicate a similar glycosylation pattern in the different major salivary glands, whereas minor (labial) salivary gland differ slightly in serous and duct cells. The limited and exclusive intracellular expression of the immature Tn, sialosyl-Tn, and T antigens indicates that these structures may be of value as markers of salivary gland tumors.

TidsskriftJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)1251-9
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - sep. 1994

ID: 119594879