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Brain Res. 1996 Oct 7;735(2):257-64.

Subcellular localization of growth inhibitory factor in rat brain: light and electron microscopic immunohistochemical studies.

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Department of Pathology, Niigata University, Japan.


The subcellular localization of growth inhibitory factor (GIF), a brain-specific member of the metallothionein family, was determined in the rat brain by electron microscopic immunohistochemistry using a rabbit antiserum against a synthetic polypeptide specific for rat GIF. The major cell type that expressed a high level of GIF immunoreactivity was the astrocytes. In these cells, dense labelling was observed throughout the soma and the fine processes, in association with the free ribosomes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, small vesicles, the outer membrane of the mitochondria and part of the plasma membrane. Astrocytic end-feet around blood vessels exhibited intense immunoreactivity. Another cell type exhibiting GIF immunolabelling was the neurons. However, this immunoreactivity was restricted to a subset of the neuronal population, and in contrast to the astrocytic pattern, the labelling was localized predominantly in the processes including axons and dendrites, in association with microtubules, ribosomes, the outer membrane of the mitochondria and the plasmalemma. Synaptic elements, including dendritic spines, also showed definite immunoreactivity in association with synaptic vesicles and post-synaptic densities. No labelling was observed in the oligodendrocytes or microglia. The present data suggest that GIF is expressed in both astrocytes and neurons, and plays rather specific roles in each phenotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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