Localization of immunoreactive epidermal growth factor receptors in human nervous system

J Histochem Cytochem. 1988 Jan;36(1):81-6. doi: 10.1177/36.1.3275713.


Epidermal growth factor is a well-defined peptide which stimulates cell growth and elicits cell responses in a variety of tissues by binding to specific receptors, EGF-R. A specific antiserum against the EGF receptor, which has previously been used to characterize EGF-R in human skin, fibroblasts, and smooth muscle, was used to survey the distribution of EGF-R in human nervous system. Portions of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded autopsy specimens were examined by use of immunohistochemical staining (PAP technique) with EGF-R antiserum. Many types of nerve cells, e.g., cerebral cortical pyramidal cells, hippocampal pyramidal cells, Purkinje cells, anterior horn cells, and dorsal root ganglion neurons, contained immunoreactive EGF-R. However, immunoreactive EGF-R were not detected in astrocytes, oligodendrogliocytes, and other small neurons such as granule cells. Intense immunostaining for EGF-R was also detected in ependymal cells from choroidal and extrachoroidal locations. Although immunoreactive EGF-R is widely distributed in human nervous system, the functional role of EGF and its receptor in the nervous system remains unknown.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Astrocytes / analysis
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Cerebellum / analysis
  • Cerebral Cortex / analysis
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • Ganglia, Spinal / analysis
  • Hippocampus / analysis
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / analysis
  • Nervous System / analysis*
  • Oligodendroglia / analysis
  • Purkinje Cells / analysis
  • Schwann Cells / analysis
  • Tissue Distribution


  • ErbB Receptors