Mucopolysaccharides of the goblet cells in the mucosa of the chicken oviduct were examined histochemically. The results obtained are summarized as follows.
1. The goblet cells of the oviducal mucosa were different not only in the appearance and arrangement in the epithelium, but also in the histochemical properties of mucin they contained, depending on the portion of the oviduct they were located.
2. The goblet cells of the infundibulum and those of the magnum manifested essentially the same histochemical reactions. They were periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-reactive, alcianophilic, and metachromatic in character. These characters were more pronounced in the magnum than in the infundibulum. From these findings and the results of methylation and saponification following methylation, it was concluded that the mucin substrates of the goblet cells were compounds of nonsulfated and sulfated acid mucopolysaccharides. The goblet cells of the infundibulum were mainly composed of nonsulfated mucin, and those of the magnum of sulfated mucin.
3. The goblet cells of the isthmus were PAS-reactive, diastase-resistant, and nonbasophilic in character. Their PAS-reactivity was blocked by phenylhydrazine. They were stained red by the alcian blue-PAS (AB-P AS) method. Accordingly, the mucin substrates of these cells were identified as neutral mucopolysaccharides.
4. The goblet cells of the uterus showed the same histochemical reactions as those of the isthmus, although their reactions were less remarkable than those exhibited by the latter. Therefore, the mucin substrates of the uterin goblet cells were probably neutral mucopolysaccharides. The goblet cells at the anterior narrow region of the uterus showed the presence of acid mucopolysaccharides.
5. The goblet cells of the vagina were strongly PAS-reactive, alcianophilic, and metachromatic in character, but had no affinity for aldehyde fuchsin. The mucin substrates of these cells seemed to be nonsulfated acid mucopolysaccharides.