The content, distribution and changes of the glycoconjugates oligosaccharides in the ependymal cells of the cephalic portion of the nervous system, in the chick embryo from 5 days of incubation till hatching and in the 3 days old chicken, were investigated. For this purpose a battery of six HRP-conjugated lectins were used (WGA, SBA, UEA I, LTA, PNA, ConA). Enzyme and chemical treatments were performed on some sections prior to staining with HRP-lectins. Our findings showed a large amount of all the investigated sugar residues at the apical portion of the ependymal cells, for the whole considered period of incubation and in the 3 days old chicken. This could indicate that also the immature ependymal cells (spongiobasts) begin to play a tipical role of the mature cells. The presence of cytoplasmic sopranuclear granules, containig D-glucosamine, D-galactose-(β1→3)-N-acetil-D-galactosamine and sialic acid in the early stages of incubation, might represent a secretion by the ependymal cells to integrate a not yet fully functioning secretion by the choroid plexuses. At the ciglia a large amount of oligosaccharides were detected in the second part of the period of incubation and in 3 days old chicken. These oligosaccharides could be involved in determining and mantaining the movement of the ciglia to facilitate the flow of the CSF.
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