The distribution of astrocytic processes in the dentate gyrus molecular layer and CA1 subregion of the hippocampal formation was examined in 8-μm frozen sections from adult male rats. The stereological cycloid intersection method (Baddeley et al., 1986) was used to estimate surface density of glial fibrillary acidic protein-immunoreactive astrocytic processes. A distinct lamination pattern was delineated in the dentate gyrus which corresponds to the afferent input to this region. No such pattern was detectable in s. radiatum of CA1. By using this relatively new stereological method which utilizes a sensitive sampling scheme, it was possible to increase the reliability in reporting the distribution of fine processes while at the same time greatly reducing the amount of time necessary to estimate the amount of astrocytic processes in a given region.
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