The distribution of C14 was studied in various parts of the rooster comb following treatment with testosterone. The value of gas-phase assay of C14 in tissue has been demonstrated and the results compared with those of autoradiographic studies on the same tissue.
The results of these experiments showed that androgen treatment significantly increases the rate of incorporation of C14 in various parts of the comb. The specific activity of carbon in the comb, cornea, and liver differed, depending on which precursor, viz. glucose-6-C14, glucose-1-C14, and glucuronolactone-U-C14, was administered. The highest values were obtained after the administration of glucose-6-C14; glucuronolactone-U-C14 gave the lowest specific activity.
The specific activity of carbon in different parts of the comb showed considerable variation. Carbon assay of serial sections of the comb cut at various planes showed that the specific activity of carbon was highest in the mucoid layer. Both C14 assays and autoradiograms indicate that C14 is also present in other parts of the comb. As seen in autoradiography, the concentration of C14 was highest in the epithelium, in the blood vessel walls, and in the avascular collagenous tissue. These results, and indications from previous studies, suggest that the high specific activity of carbon in the mucoid layer is due mainly to the presence of C14-labelled hyaluronic acid. Autoradiograms and PAS staining suggest that a significant amount of C14 is also incorporated into the glycoproteins associated with the collagen fibers.