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Peripherin is a type III intermediate filament found initially in sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). It serves as a marker for autonomic and sensory neurons in the PNS and motor neurons in the CNS. Peripherin is a diagnostic marker in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and certain neuronally-derived tumors. Brain injuries can also trigger expression of peripherin and the formation of peripherin accumulations in neurons that are normally silent for this gene.
Peripherin is also expressed in certain neuroendocrine tumors and in the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Autoantibodies to peripherin are also frequently seen in the sera of patients with diabetes.
Image: Mixed neuron/glia cultures from newborn rat brain stained with antibody to peripherin (green) and rabbit polyclonal antibody NF-L (red channel). A class of large neurons, like the one in the middle of this image, contain peripherin, while the majority of neurons and their processes contain NF-L and not peripherin. Interestingly, the periperin positive cells often contain a cytoplasmic inclusion next to the nucleus which stains for both peripherin and NF-L, and so appears golden in this kind of image. The blue channel reveals the localization of DNA. Protocol on Data-sheet.
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