Glial cells play an important role in the maintenance of normal nervous system physiology. Glial cells include microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Microglia are the resident phagocytes in the CNS, and actively survey their surrounding domain to quickly respond to an immune threat. As a consequence, these cells change shape to become amoeboid-like and become phagocytic to remove the encountered threat. Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cell type residing in the brain. They have many important functions, some of which include neurotransmitter uptake and release, and modulation of synaptic transmission. Astrocytes, like microglia, are highly sensitive to alterations in their microenvironment, and alter their morphology and gene expression profile to upregulate expression and secretion of a variety of bioactive molecules, such as cytokines and chemokines, in response to CNS injury. Oligodendrocytes (ODs) produce myelin sheath to allow for the insulation of segments of neuronal axons. This enables high velocity signal transduction, which is essential for the propagation of action potentials along the axon. ODs also contribute to neuroplasticity and provide trophic support to neurons.

 

The Glial Cell Marker Antibody Sampler Kit provides a great combination of antibodies to detect microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes.

 

Glial Cell Marker Antibody Sampler Kit Contents:

Specificity

Clone

Format

Reactivity

Application

P2RY12

S16007D

Purified

Ms

IHC-P, FC

CX3CR1

8E10.D9

Purified

Hu

IHC-P

GFAP

SMI 24

Purified

Hu, Ms, Rat

IHC-P, WB

Myelin CNPase

SMI 91

Purified

Hu, Ms, Rat

IHC-P, WB

Myelin Basic Protein

P82H9

Purified

Hu, Rat

IHC-P, WB

Purinergic Receptor P2Y (P2RY12) is a receptor for ADP and ATP, and is required for normal platelet aggregation and blood coagulation. P2RY12 is a selective marker for microglia and does not stain other peripheral immune cell types.

 

 

 

 

CX3CR1 is a marker commonly used to detect microglia. However, this is also a common marker for other phagocytes such as macrophages. Usage of a combination of P2RY12 and CX3CR1 may allow the distinction between resident vs. peripheral immune cells. This distinction becomes important under inflammatory conditions where peripheral cells infiltrate the brain.

 

 

 

GFAP is a gold standard marker not only for visualizing resting astrocytes, but is also widely used to detect reactive astrocytes, which stain much more strongly with GFAP antibodies than normal astrocytes. Reactive astrocytes are detectable under damage and many disease states resulting in astrogliosis.

 

 

 

 

Myelin CNPase is a specific marker for oligodendrocytes. Clone SMI 91 can be used to identify ODs by IHC and western blotting.

 

 

 

 

 

Myelin basic protein (MBP) is another specific marker for oligodendrocytes. MBP and myelin CNPase may be of particular interest to those who study ODs within a disease context, such as in multiple sclerosis, where autoreactive antibodies against MBP have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis and destruction of the myelin sheaths.

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