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Neurofilaments can be defined as the intermediate or 10nm filaments found in specifically in neuronal cells. In the electron microscope neurofilaments appears as 10nm diameter fibres of indeterminate length which generally have fine wispy protrusions from their sides. They are found particularly abundantly in axons of large projection neurons. Antibodies to the various neurofilament subunits are very useful cell type markers since the proteins are among the most abundant of the nervous system, are expressed only in neurons, and are biochemically very stable.
Image:Shows rat mixed neuron/glial cultures stained with mouse monoclonal antibody to neurofilament subunit NF-L clone 7D1 (green) and chicken antibody to neurofilament NF-H. This antibody binds primarily to the phosphorylated axonal forms of NF-H, in contrast to the NF-L antibody which stains both axonal and dendritic/perikaryal neurofilaments. The NF-L antibody therefore reveals a prominent cell body in green, while the surrounding axonal profiles are orange, since the are bound by both NF-L and the chicken NF-H antibody. Blue is a DNA stain. Protocol on data sheet.
Some studies have shown that levels of neurofilament heavy and neurofilament light are elevated in patients with Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobe dementia, and vascular dementia.
Primary Neurons and Astrocytes-Primary human, rat and mouse neurons and astrocytes by Category