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Abstract

The distribution of glycoconjugates was investigated in the embryonic trunk mesoderm used as a substrat by migrating primordial germ cells (PGCs) by means of ultrastructural cytochemistry. In both mesentery and developing gonads polyanionic sites were abundant in epithelial and mesenchymal cell coats, basal laminae, and extracellular matrices (ECM). In the latter, polyanions distributed on microfibrils and granules were associated with collagen fibers, forming an entangled network. No perferntial association of this fibrillo-granular material with PGCs was observed, suggesting that polyanions present in ECM likely act by promoting inflation of the extracellular spaces rather than by providing mechanical guides for the moving cells.