Strong anionic sites, as recognized by deposition of cationic colloidal iron even at pH 1.5, were distributed on the free surfaces of the mesothelia of the mouse pleura, pericardium, and peritoneum. Methylation inhibited colloidal iron staining on the surface, and successive saponification restored it. Digestion with neuraminidase or hydrolysis of sialic acid with H2SO4 erased the colloidal iron staining. Lectin Limax flavus agglutinin (LFA), which is specific for sialic acid, labeled the free surface of the mesothelium. All these findings strongly suggested that the surface substance contained sialic acid. Moreover, prior treatment with LFA inhibited the mesothelial surface stain with colloidal iron. In transmission electron microscopy, the colloidal iron (pH 7.3)-stained substance took the shape of fine strands of 50-300 nm in length. These characteristics of the substance on the mesothelial surface correspond well with biochemical properties of membrane-associated sialomucin, whose strong and abundant negative charges produce repulsive forces between facing serosal surfaces. This may contribute to prevent serosal adhesion and to reduce friction during movements of organs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Cell Biology