GFAP: Roles in Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:56

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a class III intermediate filament (IF) protein and is used as a marker to distinguish astrocytes from other glial cells during development. GFP may play a role in maintaining mechanical strength and shape in astrocytes but its exact function still remains mostly uncharacterized.  Mutations in GFAP are well-known to cause Alexander disease (1), but recent studies have shown that GFAP may be a useful marker in spinal astrocytoma.  A variant of GFAP, GFAP-gamma was shown to be upregulated in patients with high grade spinal cord astrocytoma compared to normal tissues (2).

Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: GFAP Antibody

GFAP is also upregulated in the astrocytes of Alzheimer’s disease patients.  In rats treated with Curcumin, GFAP expression was significantly reduced, resulting in increased spatial memory and showing a pathological role of GFAP in Alzherimer’s disease (3).  Finally, GFAP has recently been shown to play a potential role in schizophrenia.  The RNA-binding protein QKI is highly expressed in astrocytes and certain splice variants were shown to regulate GFAP expression.  Treatment of astrocytes with Haloperidol resulted in increased QKI and GFAP expression, suggesting that downregulation of GFAP may play a role in schizophrenia (4).

  1. PMID: 4559710
  2. PMID: 22318658
  3. PMID: 23336507
  4. PMID: 23321059

Novus Biologicals offers GFAP reagents for your research needs including:


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