The saccharidic content of the glycoconjugates has been studied in the descended the undescended testes of a 8 years old boy. For this purpose, a battery of seven HRP - conjugated lectins (SBA, DBA, PNA, WGA, UEAI, LTA and ConA) was used. D-galactose-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and α-L-fucose sugar residues, which were present in the cytoplasm of the Sertoli cells of the normally positioned prepubertal testis, were not detected in the same cells of the undescended testis. The Leydig's cells of the descended testis appeared characterized by N-acetyl-D-glucosamine which was absent in the rare and atrophic Leydig's cells of the cryptorchid testis. Differences in sugar residues distribution between the descended and the undescended testis were also detected in the lamina propria of the seminiferous tubules. Peritubular myoid cells in the undescended testis only reacted with PNA, after neuraminidase digestion, thus revealing the presence of D-galactose (β1→3)-N-acetyl- D-galactosamine and sialic acid. In this study a complete distributional map of the sugar residues of the glycoconjugates in the descended and undescended prepubertal testis is reported.
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