Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Lectin or glycoprotein-gold complexes and samples of scrapie-infected mouse brain embedded in Lowicryl K4M were used for ultrastructural localization of glycoconjugates. The lectins tested recognize the following residues: β-D-galactosyl [RCA,Ricinus communis agglutinin (aggl.) 120], N-acetyl and N-glycolyl neuraminic acid (LFA,Limax flavus aggl.), N-acetyl-D-glucosaminyl and sialyl (WGA, Wheat germ aggl.), N-acetyl-D-galactosaminyl (HPA,Helix pomatia aggl., and DBA,Dolichosbiflorus aggl.), α-D-mannosyl/α-D-glucosyl (Con A, Concanavalin A), α-D-galactosyl and α-D-galactopyranoside (BSA,Bandeirea simplicifolia aggl., izolectin B4). Labeling of the majority of micro-blood vessels (MBVs) located outside the plaque area and in the remaining cerebral cortex was similar to that which has been previously observed in non-infected animals. Some MBVs, however, located inside the plaque area and surrounded directly by amyloid fibers showed attenuation of the endothelium, the surface of which was scarcely and irregularly decorated with RCA, LFA, WGA and Con A. These abnormalities in the composition of glycoconjugates can be associated with previously noted increased permeability of some MBVs in the brains of scrapie-infected mice. Some vessels in the plaque area were encapsulated by perivascular deposits of homogenous or flocculogranular material containing several glycoconjugates. A very intimate structural relation between reactive (microglial-like) cells and amyloid fibers suggests the participation of these cells in elaboration of plaque material. Labeling of the cell surface and adjacent amyloid fibers with the same lectins (RCA, WGA, DBA, Con A) suggests the possibility that the glycosylation of these fibers occurs extracellularly. Only WGA and DBA were occasionally labeling some Golgi elements of the reactive cells.
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