Role of astrocytes in brain function and disease.

Sidoryk-Wegrzynowicz M, Wegrzynowicz M, Lee E, Bowman AB, Aschner M
Toxicol Pathol. 2011 39 (1): 115-23

PMID: 21075920 · PMCID: PMC6218934 · DOI:10.1177/0192623310385254

Astrocytes assume multiple roles in maintaining an optimally suited milieu for neuronal function. Select astrocytic functions include the maintenance of redox potential, the production of trophic factors, the regulation of neurotransmitter and ion concentrations, and the removal of toxins and debris from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Impairments in these and other functions, as well as physiological reactions of astrocytes to injury, can trigger or exacerbate neuronal dysfunction. This review addresses select metabolic interactions between neurons and astrocytes and emphasizes the role of astrocytes in mediating and amplifying the progression of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), hepatic encephalopathy (HE), hyperammonemia (HA), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and ischemia.

MeSH Terms (10)

Alzheimer Disease Animals Astrocytes Brain Hepatic Encephalopathy Humans Nervous System Physiological Phenomena Neurons Neurotransmitter Agents Parkinson Disease

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