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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1994 Oct 14;82(1-2):103-17.

Postnatal development of glial fibrillary acidic protein, vimentin and S100 protein in monkey visual cortex: evidence for a transient reduction of GFAP immunoreactivity.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Göttingen, FRG.


In the cerebral cortex of some species, the gradual appearance of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is often interpreted as reflecting the parallel maturation of neuronal connectivity. We studied the postnatal maturation of astrocytes in the primary visual cortex of Callithrix jacchus using antibodies against GFAP, vimentin and S100 protein as immunohistochemical markers. In the cortical grey matter of this species, the overall GFAP-immunoreactivity (IR) as measured by image analysis is high at birth (130% of the adult value), decreases until about 3 months (80%) and increases again towards adult values (100%). Vimentin-IR was high at birth, and declined towards 3 months and later. In contrast, S100-IR augmented postnatally in neuropil, and showed a laminar shift of maximum IR from layer IV to supragranular layers during ontogenesis. The decrease of GFAP-IR is predominantly due to changes in density of GFAP-positive (+) astrocytes within cortical tissue (newborn: 18,600 GFAP+astrocytes/mm3; 1 month: 11,600/mm3; 3 months: 5,700/mm3; adult: 10,200/mm3), while the overall number of astrocytes remained relatively constant as shown by the number of S100-positive astrocytic cell bodies. At times of low GFAP-IR a reduced area density of intermediate filaments was found in astrocytes by electron microscopy. The period of reduced GFAP-expression coincides with the time of prominent synapse remodeling in the visual cortex of marmosets. These data suggest that GFAP-expression may depend on functional conditions rather than time-dependent maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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