Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Cell. 1998 Jan;90(1):53-61.

The immunoreactivity of glial fibrillary acidic protein in mesangial cells and podocytes of the glomeruli of rat kidney in vivo and in culture.

Author information

Physiologisch-chemisches Institut der Universität, Tübingen, Germany.


In this study the presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in kidney is for the first time demonstrated in cryostat sections and cultures of isolated glomerular explants derived from rat kidneys. In double immunolabelling analysis of adult rat kidney sections using antiserum against GFAP and monoclonal antibody (mAb) against vimentin or desmin, the presence of immunoreactivity for GFAP could be observed in the glomerulus of the kidney and vascular cells situated in the peritubular space which expressed vimentin and desmin. Labelling of the sections with absorbed antiserum against GFAP completely abolished the staining in all these cells. The mAb against GFAP, clone GF12.24 which is known to label GFAP both in neural and non-neural cells, recognised its antigen only in the cells located in glomeruli. The investigations performed on early 2- or 3-day-old cultures from glomerular explants revealed different patterns of staining for GFAP in mesangial cells and podocytes: weak filamentous in mesangial cells and a strong non-filamentous perinuclear pattern in podocytes. Due to prominent perinuclear expression in podocytes GFAP may be considered as a marker of these cells. A different pattern of distribution of immunoreactivity for GFAP in podocytes and mesangial cells might be due to function-related posttranslational modifications of GFAP resulting in assembly or disassembly of GFAP filaments. The different pattern of staining for GFAP in the podocytes and mesangial cells, cells which exert a different influence on the capillaries of the glomeruli, suggests a role for GFAP in regulation of the tension and permeability of vascular walls. Previous investigations and present studies hint at GFAP as being a general marker of perivascular cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center