Lectin histochemical study on the olfactory organ of the newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, revealed heterogeneous mucous environments in a single nasal cavity

Shouichiro Saito, Toshiyasu Matsui, Naoto Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Wakisaka, Katsumi Mominoki, Seiji Matsuda, Kazuyuki Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Expression patterns of glycoconjugates were examined by lectin histochemistry in the nasal cavity of the Japanese red-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster. Its nasal cavity consisted of two components, a flattened chamber, which was the main nasal chamber (MNC), and a lateral diverticulum called the lateral nasal sinus (LNS), which communicated medially with the MNC. The MNC was lined with the olfactory epithelium (OE), while the diverticulum constituting the LNS was lined with the vomeronasal epithelium (VNE). Nasal glands were observed beneath the OE but not beneath the VNE. In addition, a secretory epithelium was revealed on the dorsal boundary between the MNC and the LNS, which we refer to as the boundary secretory epithelium (BSE) in this study. The BSE seemed to play an important role in the construction of the mucous composition of the VNE. Among 21 lectins used in this study, DBA, SBA and Jacalin showed different staining patterns between the OE and the VNE. DBA staining showed remarkable differences between the OE and the VNE; there was intense staining in the free border and the supporting cells of the VNE, whereas there was no staining or weak staining in the cells of the OE. SBA and Jacalin showed different stainings in the receptor neurons for the OE and the VNE. Furthermore, UEA-I and Con A showed different stainings for the nasal glands. UEA-I showed intense staining in the BSE and in the nasal glands located in the ventral wall of the MNC (VNG), whereas Con A showed intense staining in the BSE and in the nasal glands located in the dorsal and medial wall of the MNC (DMNG). The DMNG were observed to send their excretory ducts into the OE, whereas no excretory ducts were observed from the VNG to the OE or the VNE. These results suggested that the secretion by the supporting cells as well as the BSE and the DMNG establishes that there are heterogeneous mucous environments in the OE and the VNE, although both epithelia are situated in the same nasal cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Glycoconjugates
  • Lectin
  • Nasal gland
  • Olfactory epithelium
  • Vomeronasal epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Embryology

Cite this