Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 January 2010
Galectins are a group of soluble animal lectins that exhibit specificity for β-galactosides and conserve sequence homology in the carbohydrate-recognition domain. The galectin from Bufo arenarum ovary showed a strong cross-reaction with the lectin of 14.5 kDa purified from embryos at early blastula stage. In this paper, we studied the immunohistochemical localisation of the galectin of 14.5 kDa from ovary of the toad B. arenarum in adult ovary sections. We also analysed the immunohistochemical localisation of the embryonic lectin during early development using the antiserum anti-ovary galectin. In the ovary, oocytes in the previtellogenic stage showed strong reactivity in the nucleus and the cortex but not in the cytoplasm. Oocytes in the stage of primary vitellogenesis exhibited a similar pattern in the nuclear and cortical areas but showed immunostaining in the cytoplasm. Intense nuclear staining was detected in oocytes in the stage of late vitellogenesis and in mature oocytes, which also presented strong reactions in the yolk platelets that completely covered the cytoplasm. In blastula embryos the staining was found in the blastomeres, the yolk platelets and the blastocoele. Each lectin localisation is discussed in relation to potential biological roles in the corresponding tissues.