Tumor suppressor genes encode proteins involved in growth regulation in differentiating and proliferating cells. Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that the neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) tumor suppressor gene is dramatically upregulated in astrocytes stimulated with dibutyryl cyclic AMP and pro-inflammatory cytokines. To explore the possibility that the NF1 gene product, neurofibromin, plays a role in the reactive gliosis seen in response to cerebral ischemia, expression of NF1 was examined in both focal and global models of rat cerebral ischemia. In this report, we demonstrate the increased expression of both neurofibromin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in astrocytes surrounding areas of focal ischemia. Similar increases in neurofibromin and GFAP immunoreactivity were also observed in reactive astrocytes in the hippocampal region in a global model of ischemia. These results suggest a novel role for the NF1 tumor suppressor gene in growth regulatory pathways involved in cellular remodeling and in response to injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • cerebral ischemia
  • neurofibromin
  • reactive astrocytes
  • stroke


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