Lectin histochemistry of the boar bulbourethral glands.
Badia E., Pinart E., Briz M., Pastor LM., Sancho S., Garcia-Gil N., Bassols J., Kádár E., Pruneda A., Bussalleu E., Yeste M., Bonet S.
The present study describes, for the first time, the glycosidic content of boar bulbourethral glands using lectin histochemistry. Fourteen horseradish peroxidase- or digoxigenin-labelled lectins with different carbohydrate specificities were used in samples obtained from 3 healthy Landrace boars. The results obtained indicate that endpiece and duct cells synthesize and secrete mainly O-glycoproteins with alpha- and beta-D-N-acetylgalactosamine, beta-D-galactose-beta(1-->3)-D-N-acetylgalactosamine, D-N-acetylglucosamine and neuraminic acid residues. Glycoproteins secreted by bulbourethral glands have a role in the protection and lubrication of the urethra. In addition, they may be also involved in the regulation of the sperm metabolic activity and in the maintenance of the structural integrity of acrosomal and plasma membranes.