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Histochemistry of Mucosubstances in the Mantle of the Clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. I. A Glycosaminoglycan in the First Marginal Fold

Robert E. Hillman
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 87, No. 3 (Jul., 1968), pp. 361-367
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3224822
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3224822
Page Count: 7
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Histochemistry of Mucosubstances in the Mantle of the Clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. I. A Glycosaminoglycan in the First Marginal Fold
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Abstract

Neutral formalin-fixed sections of the mantle from the quahog clam Mercenaria mercenaria were subjected to a variety of histochemical reactions for mucosubstances. The results of these reactions on the first, or outer, fold indicate that a sulfated connective tissue glycosaminoglycan is secreted beneath the outer epithelium in the area where most of the new shell is deposited. The mucus is strongly alcianophilic at pH 1.0 and 2.5, and the alcianophilia persists when the tissues are stained with alcian blue in concentrations of up to 0.6 m magnesium chloride. The material also reacts strongly with aldehyde fuchsin and high iron diamine when these reagents are followed by alcian blue. Interestingly, the mucus is also periodic acid-Schiff positive, which is unusual for sulfated connective tissue mucosubstances. Testicular hyaluronidase has no effect on the staining characteristics of the mucus. Because of the localization of the mucus in the shell-forming area of the mantle, and positive von Kossa reactions for calcium, it is suggested that this material may play some role in shell deposition.

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