Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 Mar 10;76(1):121-31.

GFAP mRNA positive glia acutely isolated from rat hippocampus predominantly show complex current patterns.

Author information

Center for Neuropharmacological Neuroscience, and Division of Neurosurgery, A-60, Albany Medical College, 47 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Electrophysiologically complex glial cells have been widely identified from different regions of the central nervous system and constitute a dominant glial type in juvenile mice or rats. As these cells express several types of ion channels and neurotransmitter channels that were thought to be only present in neurons, this glial cell type has attracted considerable attention. However, the actual classification of these electrophysiologically complex glial cells remains unclear. They have been speculated to be an immature astrocyte because, although these cells show positive staining for the predominantly astrocytic marker S 100beta, it has not been possible to show staining for the commonly accepted mature astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). To address the question of whether these cells might express GFAP at the transcript level, we combined patch-clamp electrophysiological recording with single cell RT-PCR for GFAP mRNA in glial cells acutely isolated from 4 to 12 postnatal day rats. In fresh cell suspensions from the CA1 region, complex glial cells were found to be the dominant cell type (65% total cells). We found that the majority of these electrophysiologically complex cells (74%) were positive for GFAP mRNA. We also showed that the complex cells responded to AMPA and GABA application, and these were also GFAP mRNA positive. We also fixed and stained the preparations for GFAP without electrophysiological recording to better preserve GFAP immunoreactively. In agreement with other studies, only 1.5% of these presumed electrophysiologically complex cells, based on morphology, showed immunoreactivity for GFAP. The expression of GFAP at the transcript level indicates GFAP (-)/GFAP mRNA (+) glial cells have an astrocytic identity. As single cell RT-PCR is able to detect both GFAP (-)/GFAP mRNA (+) and GFAP (+)/GFAP mRNA (+) astrocytic subtypes, the present study also suggests it is a feasible approach for astrocytic lineage studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center