Identification of radial glial cells within the developing murine central nervous system: studies based upon a new immunohistochemical marker

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1988 Nov 1;44(1):95-108. doi: 10.1016/0165-3806(88)90121-6.


The monoclonal antibody RC2 was generated in mouse by conventional hybridoma methodology. The antigen recognized by RC2 is robust, allowing aldehyde fixation appropriate to high resolution light and electron microscopic analyses. From the neural tube stage of fetal development the antibody delineates throughout the central nervous system a subpopulation of neuroepithelial cells which have a radial bipolar morphology. A descending process extends to the ventricular margin, and an ascending process contacts the glial limiting membrane by one or more endfeet varicosities. The persistence of these cells through the neurogenetic period allows their identification as radial glial. From as early as E9-10 the fibers appear to be organized in simple straight fascicles. Later in fetal development these fascicles show marked region-specific transformations in density and trajectory, particularly in association with cerebral corticogenesis and with cerebellar and basal ganglia development. The bipolar forms continue to stain with RC2 until they disappear in the postnatal period. Concurrently with a progressive perinatal loss of stained bipolar radial glia, RC2 identifies multipolar cell forms at various levels of the brain wall, as consistent with the transformation of radial glia into astrocytes. RC2 also recognizes monopolar cell forms in the spinal cord and the cerebellum as early as E15, and in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation from the day of birth. Monopolar forms in the cerebellum are inferred to be progenitors of Bergmann glia. Although Bergmann glia are known to persist in adult life, these cells do not stain with RC2 beyond the 2nd postnatal week. The robustness of the antigen recognized by RC2 makes this probe a valuable tool to study the morphological transformations of the bipolar radial glia during their mitotic turnover. It also provides a sensitive stain for the study of the organization and the histogenetic role of the overall radial fiber system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure
  • Organ Specificity
  • Spinal Cord / cytology
  • Spinal Cord / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / growth & development*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins