Glycosaminoglycans and NO synthase probably regulate mucous cell secretion in the skin of Tapes philippinarum. We have demonstrated the presence of "protein" cells, "glycogen" cells, "phenol" cells and five types of mucous cells, with different chemical composition of the mucus in the mantle epithelium of T. philippinarum. The foot epithelium contained "protein" cells and two types of mucous cells. Using biotinylated lectins, in the mantle and foot epithelia we have shown specific sites for the following oligosaccharides: α-D-glucose, α-D-mannose, α-L-fucose, α-D-1,3-N-acetyl-galactosamine and α-N-acetyl-glucosamine. nNOS immunoreactivity in the intraepithelial and intradermal cells and in the mucocytes suggested a regulatory role of NO in mucus secretion, as demonstrated also in other invertebrates.
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