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Comparative study of procedures for histological detection of lectin binding by use of Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin I and gastrointestinal mucosa of the rat
Wolf D. Kuhlmann, P. Peschke
Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Immunocytochemistry, Institut für Nuklearmedizin,
DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany
The histological localisation of α-D-galactopyranosyl residues in glycoconjugates of rat stomach and duodenal mucosae was studied by use of Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin I, i.e. the isolectin mixture (A+B) and the isolectin B4 (B4). Cryostat sections which were either unfixed or acetone fixed and paraffin sections from both ethanol-acetic acid and formalde-hyde fixed tissue blocks were compared. Cellular details were better preserved in paraffin than in cryostat sections. Reactivity of cells binding GS I was less sensitive after formaldehyde than after ethanol-acetic acid fixation inasmuch as higher concentrations of lectins were needed. This drawback could be overcome by trypsinisation of the sections. The binding pattern of GS I (A+B) corresponded with that of GS I (B4) in either cryostat or paraffin sections. GS I was detected in the cytoplasm of parietal cells and in Brunner's gland cells. In duodenal crypts and villi, lectin was bound to supranuclear regions in the cytoplasm of columnar and goblet cells. The staining efficiency of fluorescein (FITC), horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and colloidal gold particle (CGP) labels in both direct and indirect lectin stainings was compared. Under all experimental conditions, indirect methods required lower concentrations of lectins than direct ones; indirect procedures increased sensitivity about 5-10 fold. CGP labels were always of highest sensitivity when gold particles were further developed by a silver precipitation method. HRP was not as efficient in lectin localisation as CGP, but cytochemical staining was more convenient in routine work. Direct FITC labellings proved to be of lowest sensitivity.