Assessment of neurotoxicity: use of glial fibrillary acidic protein as a biomarker

Biomed Environ Sci. 1991 Jun;4(1-2):197-206.


Diverse neurotoxic insults result in proliferation and hypertrophy of astrocytes. The hallmark of this response is enhanced expression of the major intermediate filament protein of astrocytes, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). These observations suggest that GFAP may be a useful biomarker of neurotoxicity. To investigate this possibility, we administered prototype neurotoxicants to experimental animals and assessed the effects of these agents on the tissue content of GFAP, as determined by radioimmunoassay. A review of the background, design, and results of these experiments are presented in this paper. Our findings indicate that GFAP is a sensitive and specific biomarker of neurotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism*
  • Hazardous Substances*
  • Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Nervous System / metabolism
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Biomarkers
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Hazardous Substances