Glaucoma is a common disease seen in the eye clinic, but its associated pathological processes, especially the role of glial cells in glaucomatous retinae, are still under debate. The aim of the present work was to study the responses of astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia in retinae of rats with experimental glaucoma. Glaucoma was induced in adult male Wistar rats by cauterizing limbal-derived veins and the changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), OX42, OX18, OX6 and EDI expression were studied by immunohistochemical staining. Neuronal cell viability was studied by immunostaining with the neuronal nuclei (NeuN) antibody. In the experimental glaucomatous eyes, a significant drop in the number of NeuN-positive neurons was observed from 7 days postoperation and beyond in both the ganglion cell layer and inner nuclear layer. The expression of GFAP and OX42 was increased during the first 2 months after operation and reduced in rats at 3 and 4 months. OX6 and OX18 immunoreactivity was induced in some microglia of both glaucomatous and sham-operated control eyes. Possible mechanisms of the reaction of astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia in neuronal degeneration following glaucoma are discussed.