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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lectin detection of renal glycogen in rats with short-term streptozotocin-diabetes.

Earlier histochemical findings from our laboratory have shown that a lectin (agglutinin) from Griffonia simplicifolia, which reportedly binds to terminal N-acetylglucosamine residues in glycoconjugate oligosaccharides also shows affinity for glycogen. In the present study, the lectin was conjugated to horseradish peroxidase and applied to paraffin sections of kidney from streptozotocin-diabetic rats, insulin-treated and untreated, and age-matched control rats. Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin II detected glycogen in cortical ascending thick limbs of untreated diabetic rat kidneys as early as 24 h following injection of streptozotocin. The number of stained cells increased steadily so that by day 14 of diabetes the lectin reacted with nearly all of the cells lining ascending thick limbs in the cortex and adjacent outer stripe of the outer medulla. Glycogen was never identified in the inner medullary stripe. Comparison of Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin II and periodic acid-Schiff staining revealed that periodic acid-Schiff could not clearly detect glycogen until 14 days following injection of streptozotocin, which substantiated earlier claims that Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin II might be a more sensitive indicator of glycogen than periodic acid-Schiff. The distribution of glycoconjugate containing terminal N-acetylglucosamine stainable with the lectin was unchanged in diabetic kidneys. Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin II served in the present study to further characterise the sequence of abnormal glycogen accumulation in streptozotocin-diabetic rat kidneys. In addition, it was shown that the lectin's ability to antedate periodic acid-Schiff detection of glycogen has utility in histochemical investigations in diabetes.[1]


  1. Lectin detection of renal glycogen in rats with short-term streptozotocin-diabetes. Hennigar, R.A., Mayfield, R.K., Harvey, J.N., Ge, Z.H., Sens, D.A. Diabetologia (1987) [Pubmed]
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