Concanavalin A-binding glycoproteins in the subcommissural and the pineal organ of the sheep (Ovis aries)

Research paper by Robert Meiniel, Jean-Louis Molat, Annie Meiniel

Indexed on: 01 Sep '86Published on: 01 Sep '86Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


Glycoproteins rich in mannosyl or glucosyl residues were analyzed in the subcommissural organ (SCO) and the pineal organ of the sheep (Ovis aries). By use of concanavalin A labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate, fluorescent material was found both in ependymal and hypendymal cells of the SCO. In the pineal organ, either isolated or grouped parenchymal cells showed a marked fluorescence. These cells may correspond to ependymal elements also called “interstitial cells” or “supporting cells”. In addition, scarce slender, fluorescent processes were observed in the pineal parenchyma. The techniques of electrophoresis and electrotransfer on nitrocellulose paper have been applied to analyze the glycopeptide content of the SCO and the pineal organ in comparison to cerebellar and cerebral fractions solubilized by use of Triton X 100. Approximately 30 different concanavalin A-reactive glycopeptides were revealed in each fraction. In the SCO extract four glycopeptides (30, 54, 72, 100 kd) might correspond to subunits of the glycoprotein(s) characteristically stored in the ependymal cells of the SCO. In addition, two glycopeptides (32/33, 115 kd) are specific to the pineal organ extract. The possible similarity of the concanavalin A-reactive material in both organs is discussed and a putative secretory activity of the pineal ependymal cells is postulated.