Peroxidase conjugated lectins were used to analyse the glycoproteins of small intestinal mucins in normal infants and those with cystic fibrosis to ascertain whether there are any detectable histochemical differences in saccharide composition. A significant decrease in Lotus tetragonolobus (LTG) binding fucose was shown in normal small intestinal mucin starting around 36 weeks' gestation with total absence of staining at term and beyond. In contrast, the age matched patients with cystic fibrosis showed persistent and intense LTG binding of fucose. These results provide the first clear histochemical evidence that cystic fibrosis mucin is abnormal and confirm the findings of previous biochemical studies.
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