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Early appearance of type II astrocytes in developing human fetal brain.

Authors
  • Elder, G A
  • Major, E O
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Research
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1988
Volume
470
Issue
1
Pages
146–150
Identifiers
PMID: 3409045
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

To compare rat and human glial development, we examined the cellular composition of human fetal brain in short-term cultures and fresh cell suspensions from fetal ages ranging from 7 to 16 weeks, utilizing the cell type-specific markers which define glial subsets in rats. Here we report that unlike the early rat central nervous system (CNS), 7-10 week human fetal brain contains mostly astrocytes that can be characterized as type II rather than type I. Type I astrocytes become more prevalent in 16-week gestational age human brain. Although cells morphologically and immunocytochemically similar to the rat 02-A cell are found in human fetal brain and spinal cord, these cells were not induced to express galactocerebroside in serum-free media and did not have vimentin-containing intermediate filaments as do rat 02-A cells. These results suggest that functional differences may exist between rat type I and type II astrocytes and phenotypically similar cells found in humans.

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