Journal article

Glycogen metabolism as a marker of astrocyte differentiation

Glycogen is a hallmark of mature astrocytes, but its emergence during astrocytic differentiation is unclear. Differentiation of E14 mouse neurospheres into astrocytes was induced with fetal bovine serum (FBS), Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF), or Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor (CNTF). Cytochemical and enzymatic analyses showed that glycogen is present in FBS- or LIF- but not in CNTF-differentiated astrocytes. Glycogenolysis was induced in FBS- and LIF-differentiated astrocytes but glycogen resynthesis was observed only with FBS. Protein targeting to glycogen mRNA expression appeared with glial fibrillary acidic protein and S100beta in FBS and LIF conditions but not with CNTF. These results show that glycogen metabolism constitutes a useful marker of astrocyte differentiation.


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