Intermediate filaments (IFs) are abundant structures found in most eukaryotic cells, including those in the nervous system. In the CNS, the primary components of neuronal IFs are α-internexin and the neurofilament triplet proteins. In the peripheral nervous system, a fifth neuronal IF protein known as peripherin is also present. IFs in astrocytes are primarily composed of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), although vimentin is also expressed in immature astrocytes and some mature astrocytes. In this Review, we focus on the IFs of glial cells (primarily GFAP) and neurons as well as their relationship to different neurodegenerative diseases.
Ronald K.H. Liem, Albee Messing