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The aim of the study was to examine the effects of microwave-induced hyperthermia of the CNS on the concentration of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in several brain ragions of rats.
Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the major protein of glial intermediate filaments in astrocytes and it has been proposed as a marker for assessing astrocytic response to injury.
Two experiments were performed: Field 1) Rats were exposed and killed one, seven, or 14 days after exposure (5 rats for each condition). Field 2) Rats were exposed and killed seven or 14 days after exposure (4 rats for each condition).
Exposure resulted in a time-related increase in GFAP in olfactory bulbs and cortex, areas of maximum heating. Striatum and cerebellum were not affected. The increase in GFAP following a brain temperature increase suggests that heating of brain tissue may be sufficient to provoke an injury response comparable to that caused by chemical and physical insult. Rectal temperature was not affected. Levels of GFAP were not changed when animals were exposed for much longer periods of time to microwave power density levels that do not increase brain temperatures.