Histochemical and morphologic studies of mucosa bordering rectosigmoid carcinomas: Comparisons with normal, diseased, and malignant colonic epithelium

Robert Lev, Peter Lance, Paul Camara

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Surgically obtained rectosigmoid mucosa ("transitional" mucosa, TM) adjacent to eight primary carcinomas was compared with diseased mucosa (DM) from eight patients without primary carcinoma and mucosa from two normal control subjects by mucin histochemical and morphologic techniques. No differences were found between TM and DM that might have suggested premalignant changes unique to TM. An excess of sialidase-susceptible sialomucins was found in both TM and DM, as was loss of the sulfomucin-sialomucin gradient usually found between normal crypts and surface cells. Increased sialic acid in TM and DM may represent a nonspecific response to injury or inflammation and has been found in other epithelial under similar circum-stances. Sialidase also induced substantial reduction of periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, probably due to loss of sialic acid since no other sugars were released during sialidase digestion, as determined by thin-layer chromatography analysis of postdigestion supernatants. Carcinomas generally showed more staining with PAS than with basic dyes; PAS staining was minimally reduced by diastase and sialidase but markedly reduced by phenylhydrazine interposition, suggesting that some type of neutral glycoprotein was responsible. Finally, it was found that overreliance on the high-iron diamine-Alcian blue technique as a single procedure is unwise; this procedure should be accompanied by the use of singly applied dyes, especially high-iron diamine, together with other enzymatic and staining procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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