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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heterogeneous astroglial response in the rat spinal cord to long-term portacaval shunt: an immunohistochemical study.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity has been used to study the astroglial response in the rat spinal cord to long-term portacaval shunt (PCS). The astroglial response in PCS rats is heterogeneous. In general, astrocytes show a loss of GFAP immunoreactivity, as well as shrinking and pyknosis in their nuclei; however, while GFAP reactivity was unchanged in the periependymal region, it was strongly increased in the dorsolateral region of the spinal cord (lateral spinal nucleus, dorsal root entry zone, and the most dorsal region of the dorsal horn). Three possibilities are postulated to explain how astrocytes, in the periependymal and dorsolateral regions, can support the effects of PCS: a) astrocytes related to glutamatergic pathways ought to possess a more efficient ammonia uptake and detoxification system, b) long-term PCS can activate nociceptive pathways (substancePergic fibers), and c) astrocytes located in periependymal and dorsolateral regions can be exposed to lower concentrations of ammonia because of its diffusion into the cerebro-spinal fluid close to these regions.[1]


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