The Prenatal Development and Histochemistry of the Ileal Mucins in the Bovine Fetuses


ANATOMIA HISTOLOGIA EMBRYOLOGIA, vol.38, no.6, pp.436-442, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1439-0264.2009.00967.x
  • Page Numbers: pp.436-442


P>Few studies exist regarding the distribution of intestinal mucins in fetuses of mammalians such as cattle and sheep. In this study, we aimed to describe the changes in the mucin production by ileal epithelium of bovine fetuses during their prenatal development. The goblet cells showed heterogeneity in mucins and the apical cytoplasm of the enterocytes demonstrated Periodic acid Schiff-positive reaction which declined gradually towards the birth. Moreover, the number of the goblet cells containing acidic and mixed mucins augmented, whereas those containing neutral mucins decreased with advancing gestational age. After sixth month of gestation, with the initiation of the ileal Peyer patches and follicle-associated epithelium development, a gradual increase in the number of goblet cells containing sulfomucins was also noticed towards the birth. The presence of different mucins in the ileum of bovine fetuses throughout prenatal development might play a role in the protection of the intestinal mucosa against urinary waste products in swallowed amniotic fluid and bile. Furthermore, mucins can also contribute for the formation of meconium in intra-uterine life and building of strong intestinal barrier with predominating sulfomucins, protecting the intestine against potential pathogens and digestive enzymes after birth.