Letter | Published:

Glial cells in the enteric nervous system contain glial fibrillary acidic protein

Nature volume 286, pages 736737 (14 August 1980) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

The complex nervous networks found throughout the mammalian gut—the enteric nervous system—are histologically, ultrastructurally, and, to some extent, functionally—similar to the central nervous system1–3. The glial cells of the small enteric ganglia are generally classified as Schwann or satellite cells, since they are found in the peripheral nervous system, possess nuclei which ultrastructurally resemble those of Schwann cells and are derived from the neural crest4,5. However, it has been argued that these cells resemble astrocytes of the central nervous system with respect to gross and fine structure, and their relationship with the enteric neurones and their processes1,6. In immuno-histochemical studies of these cells, both in frozen sections of gut wall and in tissue culture preparations of the enteric plexuses, we found evidence that the enteric glial cells are rich in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a protein associated with the 100 Å glial intermediate filaments7, and hitherto believed to be specific to astrocytes of the central nervous system only8,9.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    J. Anat. 111, 69–97 (1972).

  2. 2.

    Physiol. Rev. 55, 307–324 (1975).

  3. 3.

    in Integrative Functions of the Autonomic Nervous System (eds Brooks, C. M, Koizumi, K. & Sato, A.) 177–193 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1979).

  4. 4.

    in Handbook of Physiology Vol 4 (ed. Code, G. F.) 1579–1627 (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 1968).

  5. 5.

    & J. Neurocytol. 5, 195–206 (1976).

  6. 6.

    Zeitschrift für Naturforschung, 26b, 244–245 (1971).

  7. 7.

    , , , & J. Cell Biol. 75, 67–73 (1973).

  8. 8.

    , , & Brain Res. 43, 429–435 (1972).

  9. 9.

    & Brain Res. 116, 150–157 (1976).

  10. 10.

    Nature 280, 688–690 (1979).

  11. 11.

    , & Brain Res. 89, 363–367 (1975).

  12. 12.

    , , , & Brain Res. 152, 573–579 (1978).

  13. 13.

    et al. Brain Res. 174, 283–308 (1979).

  14. 14.

    , , , & Neurocytol. (in the press).

  15. 15.

    Nature 283, 249–256 (1980).

  16. 16.

    , & J. comp. Neurol. 165, 197–208 (1976).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Anatomy and MRC Neuroimmunology Project, Department of Zoology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

    • Kristjan R. Jessen
    •  & Rhona Mirsky

Authors

  1. Search for Kristjan R. Jessen in:

  2. Search for Rhona Mirsky in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/286736a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.