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Abstract

Wet weights and glycosaminoglycan content were determined for embryo, amnion, and allantois of control chick embryos and embryos injected with 4-methylumbelliferyl β-D-xyloside at nine days of age. There was an immediate increase in total uronic acid content, but not in uronic acid concentration, in the embryo. No difference could be detected either in fluid volume, nor in content or type of glycosaminoglycan, in the amnion of the two groups. The fluid content of the allantois of control eggs increased steadily between nine and 14 days, but in treated embryos the fluid content of the allantois remained low for at least a week. Less than 2 mg of uronic acid was present in allantoic fluid of control 16-day-old embryos, while treated embryos had accumulated more than 8 mg. More than 95% of the latter uronic acid was accounted for as chondroitin sulfate linked to methylumbelliferone and with a degree of sulfation of 50–60%. Thus β-xyloside-treated embryos excrete large amounts of chondroitin sulfate and very little fluid.