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

Co-expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein- and vimentin-type intermediate filaments in human astrocytomas.

The expression of intermediate filament (IF) proteins was studied in 71 cases of malignant human astrocytoma and in 17 cases of reactive gliosis, using immunocytochemical techniques with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. In all cases of astrocytoma, varying in degree of malignancy from grade I to grade IV, co-expression of GFAP and vimentin was found. No change in vimentin- or GFAP-IF expression with increasing anaplasia was seen. In addition astrocytic cells in reactive gliosis showed simultaneous expression of GFAP and vimentin. The intracellular distribution of these IF proteins differed. Vimentin was found to be located in a more juxta-nuclear position, whereas GFAP immunoreactivity showed a more intense staining of the cellular processes. Astrocytes in reactive gliosis behaved more or less like neoplastic cells. However, thin cell processes of reactive astrocytes in the cortex and superficial white matter only contained GFAP immunoreactivity. Simultaneous expression of GFAP and vimentin and their proportion in malignant and reactive glial cells are discussed in the light of earlier reports on the IF content of glial cells during development and maturation, in which vimentin precedes GFAP-expression. The existence of two separate (functional) IF systems in astroglia is suggested.[1]


  1. Co-expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein- and vimentin-type intermediate filaments in human astrocytomas. Herpers, M.J., Ramaekers, F.C., Aldeweireldt, J., Moesker, O., Slooff, J. Acta Neuropathol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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