Rosenthal fibers are homogeneous eosinophilic masses found in astrocytes that are composed of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) aggregates along with chaperone proteins and other unknown components. Rosenthal fiber formation is a pathological hallmark of Alexander disease and its detection is diagnostically significant. However, the lack of a specific fluorescent marker has greatly limited the histochemical characterization of Rosenthal fibers. Here, we report for the first time a fluorescent marker of Rosenthal fibers called Fluoro Jade. Fluoro Jade-positive masses were seen in samples of Alexander disease brain, pilocytic astrocytoma, and in brain tissue from a mouse model of Alexander disease. Fluoro Jade co-labeled tissue samples stained with GFAP immunofluorescence. Our results indicated that Fluoro Jade labeled Rosenthal fibers, and that Rosenthal fibers could be labeled with antibodies of interest in combination with Fluoro Jade staining.
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