General pathophysiology of astroglia

Academic Article


  • Astroglial cells are involved in most if not in all pathologies of the brain. These cells can change the morpho-functional properties in response to pathology or innate changes of these cells can lead to pathologies. Overall pathological changes in astroglia are complex and diverse and often vary with different disease stages. We classify astrogliopathologies into reactive astrogliosis, astrodegeneration with astroglial atrophy and loss of function, and pathological remodelling of astrocytes. Such changes can occur in neurological, neurodevelopmental, metabolic and psychiatric disorders as well as in infection and toxic insults. Mutation in astrocyte-specific genes leads to specific pathologies, such as Alexander disease, which is a leukodystrophy. We discuss changes in astroglia in the pathological context and identify some molecular entities underlying pathology. These entities within astroglia may repent targets for novel therapeutic intervention in the management of brain pathologies.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Verkhratsky A; Ho MS; Vardjan N; Zorec R; Parpura V
  • Start Page

  • 149
  • End Page

  • 179
  • Volume

  • 1175