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Glia. 1991;4(6):602-10.

Glial immunoreactivity for metallothionein in the rat brain.

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Department of Anatomy, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia 20059.


A series of frozen and vibratome coronal sections of the rat brain were examined by immunocytochemistry for the presence of a cysteine-rich metal binding protein, metallothionein (MT). Astrocytes throughout the brain and brainstem stained positively for MT; neurons and oligodendroglia were unstained. Ependymal cells and tanycyte processes in the hypothalamus were also immunoreactive, along with a narrow zone of immunopositivity along the margins of the area postrema. Gomori-positive astrocytes in the hypothalamus, identifiable by toluidine blue staining, metal-containing cytoplasmic granules, represented a subset of MT-positive astrocytes that may be involved in reactions to blood-borne metal compounds that penetrate into circumventricular organs of the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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