Native astrocytes do not migrate de novo or after local trauma

James D. Hatton, Jeremy P. Finkelstein, Hoi Sang U

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


While transplanted astrocytes migrate in specific patterns in therecip‐ient brains, it is not known whether native astrocytes behave similarly. The ability of normal astrocytes to migrate under non‐transplant condition was therefore explored. Native astrocytes were labelled in situ with fluorescent latex beads. These latex spheres were actively endocytosed by astrocytes in vitro, and it was therefore anticipated that these spheres would also be endocytosed by native astrocytes exposed to them. Labelling was accomplished by dissecting the pia mater away from a small region of the cerebral cortex and overlaying the area with Gelfoam containing fluorescent beads. After 2–4 h, the Gelfom was removed and the wound was cloesd. At the end of 2–4 weeks, manipulated brains were harvested for fluorescence microscopy. In this analysis, fluorescent polyspheres had been taken up by both pial fibroblasts and astrocytes at the pial‐glial margin. Labelled astrocytes [identified by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) staining] were neither hyperplastic nor hypertrophic. They were confined to the area of the original labelling site, and did not migrate either laterally across the pial margin or ventrally into the cortical layers. Knife wounding at the time of label application, either in the region of the label or distant from it, produced reactive astrocytes that were hypertrophic. These cells also did not migrate from the label site. These results suggest that astrocytes labelled by this method do not migrate in the absence of some transplant‐derived stimulus even when stimulated by local wounding. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1993


  • Transplant
  • Wounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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