The homeostatic astroglia emerges from evolutionary specialization of neural cells

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikel

Alexei Verkhratsky, Maiken Nedergaard

Evolution of the nervous system progressed through cellular diversification and specialization of functions. Conceptually, the nervous system is composed from electrically excitable neuronal networks connected with chemical synapses and non-excitable glial cells that provide for homeostasis and defence. Astrocytes are integrated into neural networks through multipartite synapses; astroglial perisynaptic processes closely enwrap synaptic contacts and control homeostasis of the synaptic cleft, supply neurons with glutamate and GABA obligatory precursor glutamine and contribute to synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. In neuropathology, astrocytes may undergo reactive remodelling or degeneration; to a large extent, astroglial reactions define progression of the pathology and neurological outcome.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolution brings Ca(2+) and ATP together to control life and death'.

TidsskriftRoyal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions B. Biological Sciences
Udgave nummer1700
Sider (fra-til)1-11
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 5 aug. 2016

ID: 164971726