Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Differentiation. 1997 Dec;62(3):149-57.

Detection and distribution of the carbohydrate binding protein galectin-3 in human notochord, intervertebral disc and chordoma.

Author information

  • 1University of Goettingen, Department of Histology, Germany.


Galectin-3 is an endogenous carbohydrate-binding protein which plays a role in cell differentiation, morphogenesis and cancer biology. We investigated the occurrence and distribution of galectin-3 in the embryonic and fetal human notochord, the developing human vertebral column, adult intervertebral discs and in six chordomas, which are tumors thought to originate from notochordal remnants. By means of Western blots, the expression of galectin-3 was confirmed in tissue probes from the vertebral column region beginning with the 8th gestational week. These results were supported by immunohistochemical data which revealed the presence of galectin-3 in the cytoplasm of cells of the notochord also from the 8th gestational week onwards. Notochordal immunostaining became stronger with increasing gestational age. A persisting notochordal remnant in an adult intervertebral disc and various cells of the nucleus pulposus also contained galectin-3. All chordomas showed moderate or strong immunoreactivity irrespective of their cellular composition. Subcellularly, galectin-3 was localized mostly in the cytoplasm, while a subset of tumor cells also showed nuclear distribution. Differences in staining patterns of chordoma cells could not, in general, be correlated to any histological features of these tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center