Astrocytes

Astroglial cells are truly multipotent and serve a surprizingly large and diverse variety of functions. These functions are absolutely vital for brain development, physiology and pathology.

Conceptually astroglial functions can be divided into several important groups:

Functions of astroglia

1. Developmental

• Regulation of neuro and gliogenesis - astroglia are stem elements of the CNS.

• Neuronal path finding.

• Regulation of synaptogenesis.

2. Structural

• Astroglia form the scaffold of the nervous system, thus defining the functional architecture of the brain and spinal cord.

• Astrocytes form a continuous syncytium and integrate other neural cells into this syncytium.

3. Vascular - formation and regulation of the blood-brain barrier

• Formation of the glial-vascular interface.

• Regulation of cerebral microcirculation.

4. Metabolic

• Providing energy substrates for neurones.

• Collecting neuronal waste.

5. Control of the CNS microenvironment

• Regulation of extracellular ion concentrations; in particular sequestration and redistribution of K+ following fluctuations associated with neuronal activity.

• Regulation of extracellular pH.

Glial Neurobiology: A Textbook Alexei Verkhratsky and Arthur Butt © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ISBN 978-0-470-01564-3 (HB); 978-0-470-51740-6 (PB)

• Removal of neurotransmitters from the extracellular space.

• Brain water homeostasis.

6. Signalling

• Modulation of synaptic transmission.

• Release of neurotransmitters.

• Long-range signalling within the glial syncytium.

• Integration of neuronal-glial networks.

These functions are explained in more detail below.

Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatment Options

Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatment Options

This guide will help millions of people understand this condition so that they can take control of their lives and make informed decisions. The ebook covers information on a vast number of different types of neuropathy. In addition, it will be a useful resource for their families, caregivers, and health care providers.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment