Lectins, proteins which selectively recognize carbohydrates, have been used in histochemistry for the evaluation of changes in glycosylation in processes of cellular differentiation and/or dedifferentiation. Cratylia mollis seed lectins (Cramoll 1,4 and Cramoll 3), conjugated to horseradish peroxidase, were used as histochemical probes in human prostate tissues: normal (NP), hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate carcinoma (PCa). The staining pattern of Con-A and Cramoll 1,4 in BPH was more intense than in NP. These lectins also showed staining differences between BPH and PCa; the latter showing decreased staining intensity with an increased degree of malignancy. PNA and Cramoll 3 stained epithelial cells similarly in all diagnoses although they did present intense staining of PCa glands lumen. Corpora amylacea were not differentially recognized by any of the lectins. Cramoll 1,4 and Cramoll 3 seed lectins present themselves as candidates for histochemical probes for prostate pathologies when compared to commercial lectins such as Con-A and PNA
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