Glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin in radial glia of Ambystoma mexicanum and Triturus carnifex: an immunocytochemical study

J Hirnforsch. 1997;38(2):187-94.


The molecular characterization of glial lineage cells in two urodele species, Ambystoma mexicanum and Triturus carnifex, has been investigated immunocytochemically with antibodies directed against intermediate filament proteins, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin. Ambystoma astroglia shows clear GFAP-immunopositivity and vimentin-immunonegativity. The condition in Triturus is quite the opposite, showing only a strong vimentin immuno-reaction. In these urodele brain the astroglia is represented by radial glial cells with their somata lining cerebral ventricles (tanycytes). Each of them originates a thick process which radially crosses the periventricular gray matter and branches within the neuropil. These glial fibers originate endfeet on the subpial surface and on blood vessel wall. Only in the spinal cord cell bodies of immunopositive radial glia are displaced from the ependyma of the central canal which is almost immunonegative except the tanycytes forming the dorsal and ventral septum. No mammalian-like astrocytes appear neither in brain nor in spinal cord. The interspecific difference in the intermediate filament protein expression in radial glial cells could suggest that as regards this character Triturus retains a more immature condition than Ambystoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambystoma mexicanum
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / cytology
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / analysis*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Prosencephalon / cytology
  • Species Specificity
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*
  • Triturus
  • Vimentin / analysis*


  • Antibodies
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Vimentin