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

Mice lacking GFAP are hypersensitive to traumatic cerebrospinal injury.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is an intermediate filament protein expressed primarily in astrocytes. We have tested whether GFAP protects against mechanical stress by inducing percussive head injury in GFAP-null mice with a weight drop device. When mice were positioned on a foam bed which allowed head movement at impact, all 14 wild-type mice tested survived, but 12 of 15 GFAP-null mice died within a few minutes. The cause of death appeared to be upper cervical spinal cord injury resulting in respiratory arrest. When the foam bed was replaced by a firm support, both GFAP-null and wild-type mice survived. These results indicate that mice lacking GFAP are hypersensitive to cervical spinal cord injury caused by sudden acceleration of the head.[1]


  1. Mice lacking GFAP are hypersensitive to traumatic cerebrospinal injury. Nawashiro, H., Messing, A., Azzam, N., Brenner, M. Neuroreport (1998) [Pubmed]
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