Question (72387) | Anti-GFAP antibody [GF5] (ab10062)

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Question

We would like to have an antibody specific marker
for the astrocyte that does not stain Müller Cells.
Do you have any information about your antibodies
that can be used for that purpose.

Answer

Several markers can be used to stain astrocytes: alpha Smooth Muscle Actin, Bystin, GFAP, GLT-1, GLAST, S100, Mab 6.17, SC1, etc…

I have contacted my colleagues in the lab to check whether they have experience using some of the antibodies available on ophthalmic tissue. Unfortunately there’s not much information available on the likelihood of these antibodies to stain Muller cells, as this is not something we had tested in house.

Retinal Mueller cells may express GFAP under some circumstances, following injury or degeneration. However, in the normal healthy state they express Vimentin as the major intermediate filament protein, producing a prominent fibrillar pattern perpendicular to the layers of retina. When damage or disease occurs, the levels of GFAP increase and the GFAP pattern overlaps exactly with the Vimentin pattern as the two proteins co-polymerize to form heteromeric intermediate filaments. Here are some relevant papers about it:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=bignami+[author]+AND+dahl+[author]+AND+Mueller
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11596496

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