Griffonia simplicifolia lectins bind specifically to endothelial cells and some epithelial cells in mouse tissues

Histochem J. 1987 Apr;19(4):225-34. doi: 10.1007/BF01680633.


The binding of Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin-I (GSA-I) and the isolectins GSA-I-AB3 and GSA-I-B4, having affinity for some alpha-D-galactosyl and N-acetyl galactosaminyl residues was studied in different mouse tissues. In brain, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle, the GSA-I-lectin conjugates showed prominent binding only to blood vessel endothelia. Similarly, in the liver and kidney cortex the GSA-I-conjugates selectively reacted with endothelial cells of the sinusoids and with intertubular and glomerular capillaries, respectively. However, a strong reactivity with the GSA-I-conjugates was additionally seen in the acinar cells of the pancreas, in the stratified squamous epithelia of skin and tongue, and in transitional epithelium. SDS-PAGE electrophoresis combined with the lectin-blotting technique indicated that a similar set of glycoproteins are responsible for the GSA-I binding, even in different tissues. Another lectin with specificity for alpha-D-galactose, the Maclura pomifera agglutinin, displayed a distinctly different distribution of binding sites, mainly in the basement membranes, of all mouse tissues studied. The results suggest that some alpha-D-galactosyl residues, recognized by the binding of GSA-I lectins, are preferentially expressed in endothelial cells of mouse tissues, and also provide further evidence that endothelial cells can present a highly specific surface glycosylation pattern.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium / immunology*
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Plant Lectins*
  • Receptors, Mitogen / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Griffonia simplicifolia lectins
  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Receptors, Mitogen