Distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein-immunopositive structures in the brain of the red-eared freshwater turtle (Pseudemys scripta elegans)

M. Kálmán, A. Kiss, K. Majorossy

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The distribution of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-immunoreactivity is described in serial Vibratome sections of the turtle brain. The results are discussed in relation to our previous studies of rat and chicken brains. In the turtle brain, the distribution of GFAP-positive elements is rather evenly abundant as compared to that observed in the chicken and rat. The GFAP-positive structures are fibers of different length and orientation, but the stellate cells are not GFAP-positive. The basic systems is the radial ependymoglia, directed from the ventricles toward the outer surface of the brain. This system also contains some transverse and randomly oriented fibers. The cell bodies are not usually GFAP-positive. The large brain tracts could be recognized by their weak immunostaining, but gray matter nuclei could not be identified on the basis of immunostaining against GFAP. The layers of the optic tectum could be distinguished, as well as the gray and white matter of brain stem and spinal cord and the molecular and granular layers of the cerebellum. In the cerebellum, a fiber system resembling the Bergmann-fibers, a strong midline raphe and coarse transverse fibers could be observed. These latter fibers have no equivalent in other cerebella. Their perikarya proved also to be GFAP-positive, and seemed to be dividing in the adult turtle brain. We conclude that the appearance of GFAP-positive stellate cells had a great importance in the evolution of avian and mammalian brains strengthening the thicker brain walls and assisting in the formation of local differences of GFAP-immunoreactivity in different brain areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-434
Number of pages14
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1994



  • Glia
  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Turtle brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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