Astrocytes

Chapter

Abstract

  • Astroglia represent the highly heterogeneous population of neuroglial cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The main function of astroglial cells lies in preservation of brain homeostasis. Astroglial cells are involved in the regulation of neurogenesis and neural cell development; they control synaptogenesis, maintenance, and pruning of synapses; astrocytes control homeostasis of water, ions, neurotransmitters, and neuromodulators in the CNS; they provide neurons with metabolic substrate lactate (through lactate shuttle) and replenish neuronal stores of glutamate (through glutamate-glutamine shuttle); astrocytes define most brain microarchitecture and are central elements of the neurovascular unit; astroglial cells control the appearance and function of the blood-brain barrier; and they regulate local microcirculation. Finally, astroglial cells are intimately involved in all forms of brain pathology, and their defensive capabilities to a large extent determine the progression and outcome of neurological diseases.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9780123851581
  • Start Page

  • 290
  • End Page

  • 295