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Goblet Cell Types in Intestine of Tiger Barb and Black Tetra (Cyprinidae, Characidae: Teleostei)

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Histochemical properties of goblet cells in intestine of a stomach‐less teleost, tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona), and a stomach‐containing teleost, black tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi), are described and compared. The intestine goblet cells were mostly wide in both species, but in tiger barb, some of them were markedly thinner. In black tetra, all the intestine goblet cells displayed magenta colour after PAS, whereas in the tiger barb, only the thinner goblet cells displayed such affinity. The latter cell type was coloured strongly magenta when the tissue was treated with alcian blue (pH 2.5) followed by PAS, whereas the wide goblet cells in tiger barb and all goblet cells in black tetra displayed mainly a blue colour after such treatment. Further, the goblet cells in both species were coloured cleanly blue after high iron diamine followed by alcian blue (pH 2.5). The intestine goblet cells in both species displayed a moderate affinity to WGA and concanavalin A lectins and no affinity to DBA. Most of the goblet cells displayed no affinity to PNA, but some of them in the tiger barb displayed a moderate or strong affinity to this lectin. The affinity to WGA was somewhat strengthened after pre‐treatment with neuraminidase. These results suggest that tiger barb contains two types or variants of intestinal goblet cells: high numbers of wide cells filled by acidic, non‐sulphated mucin and some thinner cells filled by neutral mucin. The intestine goblet cells in black tetra were filled by variable amounts of neutral and acidic mucin, but the total number of such cells is much less than in tiger barb. The present lectin and neuraminidase results suggest that the intestinal mucins in both species contain significant amounts of N‐acetylglucosamine, sialic acid and glucose/mannose, but seem to lack N‐acetylgalactosamine. However, some of these cells in tiger barb contain moderate to large amounts of galactose. Together, these results suggest significant species‐specific features of the intestine goblet cells and mucin types in tiger barb and black tetra. In conclusion, the present results suggest that the diet and feeding habits in stomach‐less teleosts compared with stomach‐containing teleosts, greatly influence the number of intestine goblet cells and type of mucin in these cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

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