GFAP, mouse monoclonal, Cat# MCA-5C10, MCA-5C10-AP

GFAP, mouse monoclonal, Cat# MCA-5C10, MCA-5C10-AP

Mixed neuron-glial cultures stained with MCA-5C10, and chicken polyclonal antibody to neurofilament NF-L CPCA-NF-L (green). The GFAP antibody stains the network of astrocytes in these cultures, while the NF-L antibody stains neurons and their processes. The blue channel shows the localization of DNA. This antibody also works on formalin fixed paraffin embedded brain tissues, as shown here.

Strip blot of rat spinal cord protein extract stained with MCA-5C10. A prominent band at about 50 kDa corresponds to the major isoform of GFAP.

Product name Anti-GFAP
Description Mouse Monoclonal to Anti-GFAP [5C10]. A marker of glial cells and CNS injury.
Reference Code MCA-5C10
RRID# AB_2572311
Molecular weight 50 kDa
Immunogen Purified porcine spinal cord GFAP
Isotype IgG1
Concentration Antibody is supplied as ascites, concentrated tissue culture supernatant or 1 mg/mL of affinity purified antibody.
Species Reactivity Human, horse, cow, pig, chicken, rat, mouse
Applications Western blot, ICC/IF, IHC
Suggestions for use Western blot: 1:5,000.
IF/ICC or IHC: 1:1,000.
Storage instructions Shipped on ice. Store at 4°C. For long term storage, leave frozen at -20°C. Avoid freeze / thaw cycles.

Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) was discovered by Amico Bignami and coworkers as a major fibrous protein of multiple sclerosis plaques (1). It was subsequently found to be a member of the 10nm or intermediate filament protein family, specifically the intermediate filament protein family Class III, which also includes peripherin, desmin and vimentin. The GFAP protein runs on gels as a ~50kDa protein, usually associated with somewhat lower molecule weight bands which are alternate transcripts from the single gene. The HGNC nomenclature for this protein is, perhaps not surprisingly, GFAP. GFAP is strongly and specifically expressed in astrocytes and certain other astroglia in the central nervous system, in satellite cells in peripheral ganglia, and in non-myelinating Schwann cells in peripheral nerves (2,3).

Astrocytes respond to many damage and disease states resulting in “astrogliosis” or the presence of a “glial response”. GFAP antibodies are widely used to see the reactive astrocytes which form part of this response, since reactive astrocytes stain much more strongly with GFAP antibodies than normal astrocytes. GFAP also forms a major component of the so-called glial scar, an astrocyte rich structure apparently forming part of the barrier to nerve fiber regeneration following damage in the central nervous system (4).

Neural stem cells frequently strongly express GFAP. Antibodies to GFAP are therefore very useful as markers of normal and reactive astrocytic cells and neural stem cells. Finally, Alexander’s disease was recently shown to be caused by point mutations in protein coding region of the GFAP gene (5). All forms of Alexander disease are characterized by the presence of Rosenthal fibers, which are GFAP containing cytoplasmic inclusions found in astrocytes.

Our antibody produces strong and specific staining on western blots, in immunocytochemistry (see below) and on formalin fixed paraffin embedded sections (see here).


1. Bignami A, Eng LF, Dahl D, Uyeda CT. Localization of the glial fibrillary acidic protein in astrocytes by immunofluorescence. Brain Res. 43:429-35 1972.

2. Yen SH, Fields KL. Antibodies to neurofilament, glial filament, and fibroblast intermediate filament proteins bind to different cell types of the nervous system. J Cell Biol. 88:115-26 1981.

3. Shaw G, Osborn M, Weber K. An immunofluorescence microscopical study of the neurofilament triplet proteins, vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein within the adult rat brain. Eur J Cell Biol. 26:68-82 1981.

4. Fitch MT, Silver J. CNS injury, glial scars, and inflammation: Inhibitory extracellular matrices and regeneration failure. Exp Neurol. 209:294-301 2008.

5. Brenner M, Johnson AB, Boespflug-Tanguy O, Rodriguez D, Goldman JE, Messing A. Mutations in GFAP, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein, are associated with Alexander disease. Nat Genet 27:117-20 2001

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