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Brain Res. 1995 Apr 3;676(1):69-79.

SPARC, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein containing the follistatin module, is expressed by astrocytes in synaptic enriched regions of the adult brain.

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Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Ont., Canada.


Although extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoproteins play important roles in neural development, their levels are generally believed to decrease in the adult brain. Immunohistochemical analysis indicates that the anti-adhesive ECM glycoprotein SPARC/osteonectin, which contains a follistatin 'module,' is expressed in the adult rabbit nervous system. In the cerebellum, SPARC is present in Bergmann glia, with a strong signal along their radial fibres. SPARC, while enriched in membrane fractions, is not a transmembrane protein. In the hippocampus, colocalization of SPARC is observed in cells which express the astrocytic marker GFAP. The expression of SPARC by a subset of astrocytes, particularly in synaptic enriched areas, suggests a continuing role for the ECM in the adult brain.

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