Summary: Normal and adenomatous colonic tissues from children with Gardner's syndrome were compared to analogous tissues from adults bearing adenomatous polyps using mucin histochemical and lectin-binding techniques. Adenomatous tissue from children exhibited general morphological similarity to its adult homologue, but showed less dysplasia. Its goblet cells stained weaker for mucins and the lectins Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA) and peanut agglutinin (PNA). This suggested un-derglycosylation of side chains of mucins in these childhood adenomas. The weak DBA and relatively intense sulfomucin staining in these adenomas suggested that they arose from deep crypt cells. Adult adenomas shared certain histochemical properties with carcinomas, namely, increased affinity for periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and focally for PNA. There is evidence based on the effects of saponification and sialidase treatments that the weak initial PAS reaction in normal and adenomatous colonic goblet cells from both age groups results from sub-stituents on sialic acid and, in the case of normal colon from children, on other monosaccharides as well. Finally, there was a frequent lack of parellelism between PAS and lectin staining suggesting that different groups within the sugars are responsible for reactivity with those compounds.
(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.