Lectins are proteins that bind (or crosslink) carbohydrates in a specific way. Recent research has revealed the role of glycosylation in disease aetiology. In dementia, Down’s syndrome, and schizophrenia, we found lectin-positive spherical deposits (SPD) in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, measuring 3-10 micron in diameter. The goal of this research is to better understand the nature and significance of SPD in the aetiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. SPD was detected in all cases of schizophrenia, regardless of previous medication. Single strand DNA was found co-localized with lectins in the hippocampus SPD of schizophrenia, including GSI-B4 for galactose and UEA-I for fucose, using multi-labeling histochemical methods, implying that SPD formation in schizophrenia is linked to apoptotic events. The biochemical basis of SPD development in brains with neuropsychiatric diseases should be studied further.
Department of Psychiatry, Iwaki City Medical Center, Iwaki, 973-8555, Japan.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Health Bioscience Institute, University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, 770-8503, Japan.