Lectin histochemistry of the esophagus in several mammalian species

Anat Embryol (Berl). 1999 Nov;200(5):541-9. doi: 10.1007/s004290050302.


The mucosa of the esophagus consists of stratified squamous epithelium that has a considerable resistance to injury. Intercellular glycoconjugates appear to constitute a major permeability barrier in the superficial portion of the esophageal mucosa. In the present study, we used a panel of lectins to investigate the differences in glycoconjugate production among different mammalian species. A battery of 12 lectins was used to study binding in sections from the esophagus of 6 mammalian species, including man. In general, the strongest staining was obtained in the stratum superficiale and the weakest staining in the stratum germinativum. In rabbit esophagus, exposure to pepsin/HCl produced a superficial damage to the epithelium, a considerable decrease in electrical resistance and a decreased staining of the esophageal epithelium with selected lectins. Pretreatment of the esophageal mucosa with sucrose octasulfate, a compound with protective properties, prevented, to some extent, the decrease in resistance and lectin staining.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Esophagus / chemistry*
  • Esophagus / cytology*
  • Esophagus / physiology
  • Ferrets
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glycoconjugates / analysis*
  • Glycoconjugates / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrochloric Acid / pharmacology
  • Lectins / analysis*
  • Pepsin A / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • Sucrose / analogs & derivatives
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Swine


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Glycoconjugates
  • Lectins
  • Sucrose
  • Pepsin A
  • sucrose octasulfate
  • Hydrochloric Acid