Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the major constituent of glial filaments and is restricted within the CNS to astrocytes. As with other classes of intermediate filament proteins, the regulation of GFAP expression is poorly understood. Utilizing highly purified cultures of astrocytes and a chemically defined (CD) medium, we have demonstrated that the expression of GFAP is subject to regulation by hormones and growth factors. The concentration of GFAP/mg protein was induced 2–4‐fold in the presence of hydrocortisone, putrescine, prostaglandin F‐2α (PGF2α), and pituitary fibroblast growth factor (FGF). Augmentation of the levels of GFAP continued for up to 3 weeks after conversion to CD medium and paralleled the morphological maturation of astrocytes. The accumulation of GFAP resulted from an increase in its specific rate of synthesis. Conversion of astrocytes from serum‐supplemented (SS) to CD medium did not alter its rate of degradation. GFAP appeared quite stable under both sets of conditions, exhibition a half‐life of approximately 7.5 days. The data demonstrate that GFAP expression in astrocytes is subject to hormonal regulation, which may have implications for gliosis.
Journal of Neuroscience Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1985
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