Keiko Ikemoto and Akiyoshi Nishimura
Lectins are proteins which specifically bind (or crosslink) carbohydrates. Recently, importance of glycosylation has been emphasized in pathogenesis of diseases. Lectin-positive spherical deposits (SPD), 3-10 micron in diameter, have been detected in the molecular layer of dentate gyrus of hippocampus in schizophrenia, dementia, Down's syndrome, and aged individuals. In schizophrenia, SPD was observed without exception, regardless of having history of pharmacotherapy. By using multi-labeling histochemical methods, single strand DNA was co-localized in hippocampal SPD of schizophrenia with lectin, including GSI-B4 for galactose, and UEA-I for fucose, suggesting that SPD formation in schizophrenia is related to apoptotic process. The molecular basis of SPD formation should further be investigated in brains with neuropsychiatric illnesses.