HISTOLOGY AND HISTOPATHOLOGY

Cellular and Molecular Biology

 

Lectin histochemistry of the temporal gland of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

W. Meyer1, G. Weissengruber2 and R. Busche3

1Institute of Anatomy, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover Foundation, Hannover, Germany, 2Department of Pathobiology/Anatomy, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria and 3Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University of Veterinary Medicine Foundation, Hannover, Germany.

Offprint requests to: Prof. Dr. Wilfried Meyer, Institute of Anatomy, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany. e-mail: wilfried.meyer@tiho-hannover.de


Summary. The study demonstrates the free sugar spectrum of the secretion of the tubuloaveolar temporal gland of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), using lectin histochemistry. In the elephant, the spectrum contained, besides strongly varying amounts of
α-D-mannose, very remarkable reactions for α-D-galactose and to a certain extent also for α-D-N-acetyl-galactosamine or α/ß-D-N-acetylglucosamine. This is in contrast to the free sugar spectrum of the secretion of the mammalian apocrine tubular skin glands. Considering also that the production of any water binding mucus seems to be negligible, the variations of the free sugar contents found probably originate from another important task of the secretory cells of the temporal gland. This means that our findings corroborate the view of highly active acquired immunity by an intensive processing and presenting of lipid antigens by dendritic cells (APC), in particular of the CD1 family. Histol Histopathol 25, 1573-1579 (2010)

Key words: Elephant, Loxodonta africana, Temporal gland, Free sugars, Lectin histochemistry

DOI: 10.14670/HH-25.1573