Chronic treatment of rats with reserpine, isoproterenol, or a combination of these two agents has been suggested as a means to produce an experimental animal model for the chronic exocrinopathy cystic fibrosis. The effect of these treatments on glycoconjugate distribution in rat submandibular gland acinar cells was investigated by quantitative lectin cytochemistry. Significant changes in wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA), soy bean agglutinin (SBA) and concanavalin A (Con A) binding sites in the mucus granules were observed, but peanut agglutinin (PNA) binding was not significantly affected. The quantitative changes in glycoconjugates in the acinar cells of the submandibular gland could be a possible explanation for the increased binding of calcium by the intracellular mucus noted in previous studies on these animal models.
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