Scanning Microscopy


Lectins are proteins, mainly of vegetal origin, which recognize glycosidic residues with high specificity; for this property they have been used for many studies of molecular biology. The colloidal gold represents at present the most popular electron dense marker employed in immunocytochemistry, since it offers intrinsic and unique characteristics which are superior to those displayed by the other markers.

The cytochemical method which utilizes the gold-labelled lectins takes advantages from both the two systems, in order to optimize the localization of the glycoconjugates.

The present paper reviews both the technical aspects of the preparation of the lectin-gold complex and its application to some selected pathological problems. In particular, the papers concerning the eye and ear tissues, the urinary, reproductive, nervous and digestive systems and the blood cells are quoted.

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