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Selective association of an endogenous lectin with connective tissues


, : Selective association of an endogenous lectin with connective tissues. Journal of Cell Science 73: 347-359

Using indirect immunofluorescence we have localized an endogenous beta-galactoside-specific lectin in resin-embedded rabbit tissue sections. The pattern of lectin distribution correlates well with biochemical estimations of lectin levels, being abundant in intestine, lung and heart tissue and relatively less abundant in skeletal muscle, liver and kidney. In all tissues lectin is found in connective tissue associated with fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, and at the periphery of morphologically recognizable smooth muscle cells. The lectin is abundant in skin, intestine and blood vessels, where connective tissue forms the tissue architecture. It is also abundant in heart, where it is particularly associated with the capillaries and lung, where it is also found in alveolar cells. Discrete localization of lectin occurs in areas of connective tissue where epithelial elements are differentiating, such as the crypts of Lieberkuhns in the small intestine and hair follicles in the skin. From these observations we suggest that in cells of mesenchymal origin these endogenous lectins may play a role in the elaboration or organization of the extracellular matrix that regulates tissue differentiation in a number of embryonic and adult tissues.

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PMID: 3894387


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