Five different biotin labeled lectins, Concanavalin-A (Con A), wheat germ agglutinin (WCA), Ricinus communis agglutinin I (RCA1), Ulex europaeus agglutinin (UEA1), and soybean agglutinin (SBA) were used to study lectin receptors on formalin-fixed paraffin embedded human corneas. Con A stained the cytoplasm, cell, and nuclear membranes of the epithelial cells and stained the stroma diffusely. WGA stained the superficial epithelial cells, the epithelial cell membranes, and the keratocytes of the stroma. SBA did not react with any of the corneal layers. RCA1 heavily stained the keratocytes but did not stain the epithelium. UEA1 lightly stained the epithelial cell cytoplasm and interstitial stroma. All staining reactions could be abolished by omission of the lectin or by the use of the appropriate inhibitory sugar. The lectin binding patterns reported here provide a means for further investigation of carbohydrate structures in the human cornea in both normal and disease states.
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