In the first of two papers dealing with the distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein-(GFAP)-immunoreactive elements in the rat brain, the localization of immunostaining in the forebrain is systematically described. While the limbic cortex was found to contain intensely stained, evenly distributed astrocytes, the neocortex showed clearly stratified GFAP-staining, with substantially less immunoreactivity occurring in the middle layers than in the areas close to the brain surface or the white matter. A remarkably regular staining pattern was observed in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus. The striatum remained unstained in sharp contrast to the pallidum. In the diencephalon, the main thalamic nuclei were poor in GFAP-labelled elements in contrast to the internuclear border zones. In the hypothalamus, nuclei were conspicuous by their GFAP-staining. A consistent differential staining pattern was obtained in the epithalamic structures. The observed distributional pattern of diencephalic GFAP-immunoreactivity is thought to be due to different regional proliferation of the embryonic neuroepithelium of the diencephalon. The uneven distribution of GFAP-immunoreactivity in the forebrain is explained on a mainly developmental basis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas