Localization of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) was investigated immunohistochemically in postmortem brain tissue of Alzheimer''s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and age-matched control cases using a specific rabbit antiserum to aFGF. Small numbers of glial cells were faintly stained in white but not gray matter of control cases. Larger numbers of reactive astrocytes were stained intensely for aFGF in severely affected areas of AD cases and in the primary motor cortex of ALS cases. In AD, aFGF-positive astrocytes congregated at the margin of senile plaques. Double immunostaining indicated that such upregulation of aFGF expression might be related to the presence of reactive microglia rather than β-amyloid protein deposits.

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