The distribution of glutamine synthetase in the rat central nervous system

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299 Scopus citations


The results of a light microscopic immunohistochemical study of glutamine synthetase in rat nervous system are presented. In all sites studied the enzyme was confined to astrocytes. Except for trace amounts in ependymal cells, the enzyme was not observed in other cells of the nervous system including neurons, choroid plexus, third ventricular tanycytes, subependymal cells and mesodermally-derived elements. The intensity of astrocyte staining varied in different regions with the greatest degree noted in the hippocampus and cerebellar cortex while the least was noted in brain stem, deep cerebellar nuclei and spinal cord. The glutamine synthetase content correlated well with sites of suspected glutamergic activity in keeping with the view of a critical role of astrocytes in the regulation of the putative neurotransmitter glutamic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-762
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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