An improved staining method for rat microglial cells using the lectin from Griffonia simplicifolia (GSA I-B4)

J Histochem Cytochem. 1990 Nov;38(11):1683-6. doi: 10.1177/38.11.2212623.


A simple method for the lectin histochemical visualization of rat microglial cells is described. Advantages include ease of fixation of brain tissue using paraformaldehyde, and rapidity of tissue processing by vibratome sectioning. Furthermore, in addition to providing good structural preservation, the method achieves improved lectin binding, resulting in complete labeling of all microglial cells and in superior visualization of cellular processes. The lectin histochemical technique for rat microglia has the potential to be adapted to any mammalian species, and should prove valuable for neuroscientists interested in studying this glial cell type.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Histocytochemistry / methods*
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism


  • Lectins