We studied the carbohydrate recognition systems on liver sinusoidal cells of adult chicken and 20-day-old embryos. We localized and quantified the binding sites for glycoproteins exposing terminal N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), mannose and galactose (Gal) residues. Sinusoidal liver cells from animals of both ages express on their cell surfaces binding sites for GlcNAc, mannose and galactose residues, while hepatocytes bind glycoproteins with GlcNAc resiudes. The gold particles distribution on Kuffer cells depend on the binding sites and the age considered. Binding sites for GlcNAc and Gal residues are generally present as clusters of gold granules, while mannose-specific binding sites are always as single gold granules. Ligand-gold complexes bound on endothelial cells are always present on the coated regions of the cell surface. The number of GlcNAc and Gal-specific receptors expressed on the cell surface of Kupffer cells undergoes modifications between embryonal and adult life.

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