Normal and diseased human central nervous system (CNS) tissues were studied immunohistochemically by a monoclonal antibody to human macrophages (EBM/11), antisera to glial fibrillary acidic protein (anti-GFAP), and alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (alpha 1-ACT). EBM/11 reacted with brain macrophages located mainly around blood vessels in normal brain; it also reacted with resting microglia in normal brain and with numerous reactive microglia and macrophages in brain tumours and inflammatory lesions. Microglia did not react with anti-GFAP or alpha 1-ACT. An EBM/11 positive phenotype, therefore, is shared by microglia and macrophages and suggests that microglial cells form a specialised part of the mononuclear phagocyte system.
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