Glial immunoreactivity for metallothionein in the rat brain

John K. Young, Justine S. Garvey, P. C. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


A series of frozen and vibratome coronal sections of the rat brain were examined by immunocytochemistry for the presence of a cysteine‐rich metal binding protein, metallothionein (MT). Astrocytes throughout the brain and brainstem stained positively for MT; neurons and oligodendroglia were unstained. Ependymal cells and tanycyte processes in the hypothalamus were also immunoreactive, along with a narrow zone of immunopositivity along the margins of the area postrema. Gomori‐positive astrocytes in the hypothalamus, identifiable by toluidine blue staining, metal‐containing cytoplasmic granules, represented a subset of MT‐positive astrocytes that may be involved in reactions to blood‐borne metal compounds that penetrate into circumventricular organs of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-610
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


  • Astrocytes
  • Cis‐platin
  • Hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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