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Brain Res. 1988 Jun 7;451(1-2):133-8.

Quantitative studies on proliferative changes of reactive astrocytes in mouse cerebral cortex.

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Department of Pathology, Fukui Medical School, Japan.


Cell number and proliferation of reactive astrocytes were studied quantitatively in the stabbed cerebral cortex of adult mice, using immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and [3H]thymidine autoradiography. GFAP-positive astrocytes increased in cell number gradually from 24 to 96 h after stabbing, and their immunoreactivity became intense. The maximum number of GFAP-positive cells was about 4.5 times normal in the layers II-VI of the cortex, whereas it was only 1.5 times normal in the layer I (molecular layer). In contrast to the gradual increase in cell number, no GFAP-positive astrocytes were labeled with [3H]thymidine prior to 48 h after stabbing, in either the layer I or the layers II-VI. Then 3-5% of them were labeled at 72 and 96 h, but very few again after 6 days. By injecting [3H]thymidine successively for 6 days after stabbing, only 17% of GFAP-positive astrocytes of the layer I or the layers II-VI were labeled. These results reveal that, in the cortical layers II-VI, many GFAP-negative source cells initially express much more GFAP-antigen without proliferation and change into GFAP-positive reactive astrocytes. Proliferation of reactive astrocytes is not the major factor for the marked increase in number of them. The cortical layer I would have few GFAP-negative source cells for reactive astrocytes. These source cells may be protoplasmic astrocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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