Summary: Evidence for the existence of two phenotypes of piglets born to experimental herds was obtained based on the susceptibility of intestinal brush borders to adhesion of K99-positive . The enterocytes of the K99-receptive piglets displayed a characteristic sialoglycolipid pattern, with a higher content of the monosialoglyco-lipids II NeuGc-LacCer (GM3Gc), IVNeuGc-nLcOseCer (SPGGc) and IVNeuAc-nLcOseCer (SPG) and the oligosialogangliosides IVNeuAc, IINeuAc-GgOseCer (GD1a), II(NeuAc)-GgOseCer (GD2), II (NeuAc)-GgOseCer (GD1b) and IVNeuAc, II(NeuAc)-GgOseCer (GT1b) when compared to the gangliosides of non-receptive piglets. The gangliosides from enterocytes of the non-receptive piglets were mainly the monosialogangliosides IINeuAc-GgOseCer (GM2) and IINeuAc-LacCer (GM3), only traces of the other sialoglycolipids being detected. Adhesion of C-labelled K99-positive cells to the piglet small intestinal sialoglycolipids, as tested by the thin-layer chromatogram overlay assay, revealed that the receptive enterocyte membrane was richer in glycolipids containing K99 receptor structures than the non-receptive enterocyte. Adhesion of K99-positive correlated with the degree of sialylation of the brush border glycolipids.


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