Lectins as a Tool for Detecting Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells in the Adult Mouse Brain

Masaaki Kitada, Yasumasa Kuroda, Mari Dezawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Glycoconjugates are biopolymers that are broadly distributed in the central nervous system, including the cell surface of neural stem cells or neural precursor cells (NSCs/NPCs). Glycoconjugates can be recognized by carbohydrate-binding proteins, lectins. Two lectins, Phaseolus vulgaris lectin agglutinin E-form (PHA-E4) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) have been reported to be useful in isolating NSCs/NPCs by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) or immunopanning methods. In this study, we analyzed the lectin-binding properties of NSCs/NPCs in two neurogenic regions of the adult mouse brain to determine whether PHA-E4 and WGA exhibit specific binding patterns on sections and whether there are other lectins presenting the binding pattern similar to those of PHA-E4 and WGA in lectin histochemistry. Among nine types of lectins, peanut agglutinin was localized to the white matter and four lectins bound to cells within the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle. Lectin histochemistry combined with immunohistochemistry demonstrated that one lectin, Ricinus communis agglutinin, specifically detected type A neuronal precursors and that the remaining three lectins, Agaricus bisporus agglutinin (ABA), PHA-E4, and WGA, recognized type B NSCs and type C transient amplifying cells in the SVZ. These three lectins also recognized type 1 quiescent neural progenitors and type 2a amplifying neural progenitors in the subgranular layer of the dentate gyrus. Lectin histochemistry of the neurosphere culture also yielded similar results. These observations suggest that, in addition to PHA-E4 and WGA, ABA lectin may also be applicable in FACS or immunopanning for the isolation of NSCs/NPCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
Number of pages17
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb


  • Glycoconjugates
  • Neural precursor cells
  • Neural stem cells
  • Neurogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Biotechnology
  • Histology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Lectins as a Tool for Detecting Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells in the Adult Mouse Brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this