The presence of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFA)-positive Müller glia and retinal astrocytes were studied immunohistochemically in normal rat retina. Using GFA antiserum both Müller glia and separate star-shaped cells were observed in spread-preparations as well as cryostat sections. The retinal astrocytes were also visualized using two different monoclonal GFA antibodies. These cells were found to be located in the nerve fiber and ganglion cell layers. In contrast, Müller glia were not normally visualized with any of the monoclonal GFA antibodies but could be stained 4 days after an optic nerve crush. Our results demonstrate that normal rat Müller glia expresses GFA-like immunoreactivity.