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Id-1 expression defines a subset of vimentin/S-100beta-positive, GFAP-negative astrocytes in the adult rat pineal gland

, : Id-1 expression defines a subset of vimentin/S-100beta-positive, GFAP-negative astrocytes in the adult rat pineal gland. Histochemical Journal 34(3-4): 167-171

Id proteins are dominant negative members of the helix-loop-helix (HLH) transcription factor family which are involved in the differentation of many cell types, including glia. We have recently identified the adult rat pineal gland as a maj or site of Id-1 and Id-3 expression. In the present study, double fluorescence immunocytochemical analysis was used to examine the co-localization of Id-1 and Id-3 with both neuronal (synaptophysin, betaIII-tubulin) and astrocytic markers (GFAP, vimentin, S-100beta) in the rat pineal. In addition to localizing Id-1 and Id-3 protein to the melatonin-producing pinealocytes, we have also made the novel observation that Id-1, but not Id-3, is highly expressed in a population of vimentin-positive/S-100beta-positive/GFAP-negative astrocytes. Surprisingly, Id-1 was primarily cytoplasmic in these cells, and expression extended throughout the cellular processes. The pineal has been recognized previously as a unique region of the central nervous system in which a vimentin-positive/GFAP-negative glial phenotype is maintained in adult mammals. The exclusion of Id-1 from GFAP-positive cells, and expression in a population of vimentin-positive pineal astrocytes is evidence of a role for Id-1 in the adult stabilization of one form of astrocyte. These results identify the rat pineal gland as a model system for the functional analysis of Id-1.


PMID: 12495223

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