Physiology of astroglia

Academic Article


  • Astrocytes are principal cells responsible for maintaining the brain homeostasis. Additionally, these glial cells are also involved in homocellular (astrocyte-astrocyte) and heterocellular (astrocyte-other cell types) signalling and metabolism. These astroglial functions require an expression of the assortment of molecules, be that transporters or pumps, to maintain ion concentration gradients across the plasmalemma and the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. Astrocytes sense and balance their neurochemical environment via variety of transmitter receptors and transporters. As they are electrically non-excitable, astrocytes display intracellular calcium and sodium fluctuations, which are not only used for operative signalling but can also affect metabolism. In this chapter we discuss the molecules that achieve ionic gradients and underlie astrocyte signalling.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

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

  • 45
  • End Page

  • 91
  • Volume

  • 1175