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An ultrastructural localization of lectin receptors on the zona pellucida (ZP) of porcine antral oocytes and on the granulosa cells was performed using a panel of horseradish peroxidase- labelled lectins in conjunction with antiperoxidase antibody and protein A-gold. In some cases, lectin incubation was preceded by sialidase digestion. WGA-, Con-A-, UEA-I-, RCA-I-, PNA- and SBA-reactive sites were distributed differently in the porcine ZP. Sialidase digestion increased the positivity obtained with RCA-I and it was necessary to promote PNA and SBA reactivity. These results indicated that the ZP contained N-acetylglucosamine, a-mannose, a- fucose, b-Gal-(1-4)GlcNAc, b-Gal- (1-3)GalNAc, b-GalNAc and sialic acid residues. We also observed the presence of vesicles in both the ooplasm and granulosa cells, showing a similar lectin binding pattern to that of the ZP, thus suggesting that the oocyte and granulosa cells are the site of synthesis of ZP glucidic determinants.
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