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Brain Res. 1983 Aug;285(2):171-80.

Astrocytic development in fetal parietal cortex grafted to cerebral and cerebellar cortex of immature rats.


Pieces of cortex cerebri anlage were dissected out from 16- to 17-day-old fetuses and transplanted to the cortical and cerebellar regions of 5- to 6-day-old rat pups. Twelve animals with grafts in the cortical region and 5 animals with grafts in the cerebellar region were studied 1.5-4 months later. Cresyl violet stained sections revealed no gross difference in either cell morphology, cell density or cell distribution between grafts in the two locations. A molecular layer-like zone was present on all free surfaces of the grafts, whether facing a ventricle or the meninges. The astrocytic development was studied using immunohistochemistry with antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein, (GFA), and the S-100 protein. Both antibodies visualized starshaped astrocytes and perivascular membranes surrounding blood vessels. Semi-quantitative measurements as well as computerized image analysis showed that the total amount of GFA-like immunoreactivity was much higher in both types of grafts than in corresponding host cortex cerebri. No differences in amount of S-100-like immunoreactivity could be demonstrated. As S-100 is thought to be a more general astrocytic marker than GFA, this suggests that the difference in GFA-like immunoreactivity is due mainly to an increased amount of GFA within the individual astrocytes. It is concluded that grafts of fetal cortex cerebri pieces to the CNS of young hosts develop a profound astrocytic reaction characterized by an increased amount of GFA-like immunoreactivity.

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