Demonstration of poly-N-acetyl lactosamine residues in ameboid and ramified microglial cells in rat brain by tomato lectin binding

L. Acarin, J. M. Vela, B. Gonzalez, B. Castellano

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Abstract

This study was designed to demonstrate the localization of poly-N-acetyl lactosamine residues in postnatal and adult rat brain, visualized by their specific binding to a lectin obtained from Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato). Lectin histochemistry was carried out on cryostat, paraffin, and vibratome sections and was examined by light microscopy. Selected vibratome sections were processed for electron microscopy. Our results showed that tomato lectin histochemistry was found in relation to blood vessels and glial cells in both postnatal and adult rat brain. Since tomato lectin-positive glial cells did not show GFAP immunoreactivity and displayed the same morphological features and overall distribution as nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase)-positive cells, they were consequently identified as microglial cells. At the electron microscopic level, both ameboid and ramified microglial cells displayed intracytoplasmic and plasma membrane lectin reactivity. In postnatal brain, ameboid microglial cells always showed stronger binding of tomato lectin compared with ramified microglial cells in the adult brain. The putative significance of this decrease in poly-N-acetyl lactosamine from ameboid to ramified microglial cells and the possible role(s) of this sugar residue are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1041
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Volume42
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994

Keywords

  • Ameboid microglia
  • Double labeling
  • Microglial marker
  • NDPase, GFAP
  • Poly-N-acetyl lactosamine
  • Rat brain
  • Resting microglia
  • Tomato lectin histochemistry

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