Differential Distribution of a Carbohydrate Epitope (Y) on Human Salivary Gland Cell Membranes

K. Takano, D. Malamud, A. R. Hand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Monoclonal antibody 303 (mAb 303) reacts with the high molecular weight agglutinin present in human saliva. Its reactivity is periodate sensitive, and it has been shown to recognize the Y epitope. Immunogold labeling of thin sections of human parotid and submandibular glands with mAb 303 showed reactivity in secretory granules of serous acinar, intercalated and striated duct cells (Takano et al., 1988). We now report that the apical and basolateral membranes of salivary acinar and duct cells are labeled by mAb 303, but not myoepithelial cells, endothelial cells and other mesenchymal cells. Gold particles were confined to acinar and duct cell membranes even when myoepithelial cells were directly adjacent, suggesting that the epitope resides on a membrane glycoprotein and that the label does not represent secreted agglutinin bound to the cell surface. Although myoepithelial cells are thought to differentiate from epithelial stem cells, the present results indicate that substantial compositional differences exist between the membranes of myoepithelial cells and other salivary parenchymal cells. Earlier studies also showed that mAb 303 labels normal pancreatic acinar cells and certain salivary (pleomorphic adenoma) and mammary (lactating adenoma) tumors (Bogert et aL, 1988). This antibody thus may be a useful reagent for characterizing the origin of exocrine gland-derived cell cultures and neoplastic cells. Further, localization studies may provide insight into the role of the Lewis blood group-related epitope in secretory cells.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)225-238
    Number of pages14
    JournalOkajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1992


    • Carbohydrate Epitope (Y)
    • Myoepithelial Cell
    • Salivary Gland

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anatomy


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