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Developmental analysis of GFAP immunoreactivity in the cerebellum of the meander tail mutant mouse

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Abstract

It is thought that Bergmann glial fibers assist in the inward migration of granule cells. Model systems in which there is a perturbation of either the migrating cells or the glial cell population have been useful in understanding the migratory process. In the meander tail mutant mouse, the anterior cerebellar region is agranular, whereas the posterior cerebellum is relatively unaffected by the mutation. This study presents a qualitative analysis of the development of cerebellar radial glia in mea/mea and +/mea mice aged from postnatal day 0 to adult, using an antibody against the glia specific antigen, glial fibrillary acidic protein. The results indicate a slight delay in the onset of immunoreactivity in the mea/mea cerebellum and abnormal glial formation in the anterior and posterior regions by postnatal day 5. At postnatal day 11, the full complement of labeled fibers appears to be present and although they appear abnormal in formation, they eventually reach the surface and terminate in oddly shaped and irregularly spaced endfeet. In adult mea/mea and +/mea mice, as compared to the early postnatal stages, there is a significant reduction in GFAP immunoreactive fibers. Cresyl violet stained adult mea/mea sections revealed the presence of ectopic granule cells in radial columns and small clumps at the surface of and within the molecular layer of the caudal cerebellum. Quantitative analyses revealed a 4- to 5-fold increase in the number of ectopic granule cells in lobule VIII of the mea/mea when compared with the +/mea cerebellum. These results suggest that the radial glia in the mea/mea cerebellum exhibit some uncharacteristic morphologies, but that these abnormalities are most likely the consequence of environmental alterations produced by the mutant gene.

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Grishkat, H.L., Schwartz, E., Jain, G. et al. Developmental analysis of GFAP immunoreactivity in the cerebellum of the meander tail mutant mouse. Anat Embryol 194, 135–146 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00195007

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Key words

  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Bergmann glial fibers
  • Granule cells
  • Cerebellar mutation
  • Purkinje cell