Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-mRNA during mouse brain development and in astroglial primary cultures has been investigated by using two approaches: Northern-blot evaluation using a specific cDNA probe, and cell-free translation associated with immunoprecipitation. During brain maturation (4–56 days postnatal), the GFAP-mRNA underwent a biphasic evolution. An increase was observed between birth and day 15 (i.e., during the period of astroglial proliferation), which was followed by a decrease until day 56 (i.e., during astroglial cell differentiation). At older stages (300 days), an increase was observed, which might reflect gliosis. During astroglial in vitro development (7–32 days in culture), the GFAP-mRNA showed similar variations. An increase, observed during the period of astroglial proliferation (7–18 days), was followed by a decrease which occurred in parallel to marked changes in cell shape, cell process outgrowth, and the organization and accumulation of gliofilaments. During the same culture period (7–32 days), α-tubulin mRNA, which was used as an internal standard, did not vary significantly. These results show that the increase of the GFAP protein and of gliofilaments observed both in vivo and in vitro during astroglial differentiation cannot be ascribed to an accumulation of the GFAP-mRNA. It might be that more than one mechanism regulates the levels of free and polymerized GFAP and of its encoding mRNA.
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