Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 413, Issue 6, pp 475–483 | Cite as

Ultrastructural demonstration ofMaclura pomifera agglutinin binding sites in the membranocystic lesions of membranous lipodystrophy (Nasu-Hakola disease)

  • Isao Kitajima
  • Tatsuo Suganuma
  • Fusayoshi Murata
  • Keiji Nagamatsu


This paper reports three cases of membranous lipodystrophy (Nasu-Hakola disease) in two families and studies the carbohydrate components of membranocystic lesions in all three cases, using twelve kinds of lectins labelled by horseradish peroxidase (HRP).Maclura pomifera agglutinin (MPA), which specifically binds α-D-galactose residues, strongly stained typical membranocystic lesions, whereas the other lectins did not. However,Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA), which specifically binds to N-acetyl-D-galactosamine (GalNAc), stained the membranes of degenerated adipose cells. These were thought to appear during the initial or early stage of the membranocystic lesions. This suggests that a change of carbohydrate residues occurs during the formation of the membranocystic lesions. We also investigated the lectin binding sites at the ultrastructural level using MPA-HRP colloidal gold (CG) conjugate. In the well developed membrane, CG particles were arranged regularly along the minute tubular structures. On the other hand, there were a few irregularly spaced CG particles on the thinner membranes and also on the membranes of the degenerating adipose cells. No CG particles labelled the cell membranes of normal adipose cells. The presence of α-D-galactose residues in the membranocystic lesions is demonstrated for the first time at the electron microscopic level.

Key words

Membranous lipodystrophy (Nasu-Hakola disease) Membranocystic lesion Lectin histochemistry α-D-galactose MPA-HPR colloidal gold 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isao Kitajima
    • 1
  • Tatsuo Suganuma
    • 2
  • Fusayoshi Murata
    • 2
  • Keiji Nagamatsu
    • 3
  1. 1.The Third Department of Internal MedicineKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  3. 3.The Department of NeurologyOita Prefectural HospitalOitaJapan

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