Astrocytes play a vital role in maintaining the pH balance within the brain.
Astrocytes could be as important as neurons when it comes to regulating sleep.
Study reveals the important role astrocytes play in maintaining blood-brain barrier health.
Axon regeneration and dramatic improvements in functional recovery occurred when lactate was applied to damaged neural tissue. Treatment with lactate also significantly improved locomotion and restored some walking capability in mouse models of SCI.
Study identifies a specific type of immune cell that induces inflammation in herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis.
During wakeful periods, the glymphatic system diverts cerebrospinal fluid to lymph nodes in the neck. The CSF may act as a "fluid clock" that helps initiate the body's infection-fighting capabilities during the day. Astrocytes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus may serve to control CSF through the central nervous system. Communication between astrocytes in different brain regions may optimize the glymphatic system's function as we sleep.
Alterations in the excitation and inhibition balance is regulated in the developing brain by astrocytes via the ephrin-B1 protein. The loss of astrocytic ephrin-B1 alters the E/I balance by reducing inhibition, resulting in hyperactivity of neural circuits. The hyperactivity results in reduced sociability in mice.
Exposing mice to THC, researchers noted persistent activation of mitochondrial cannabinoid receptors located within astrocytes resulted in a cascade of molecular processing that led to dysfunctional glucose metabolism. The ability of astrocytes to transform glucose into "food" for neurons was reduced. The reduction resulted in a compromise in neural function, with a harmful impact on behavior. Specifically, social interactions were reduced for 24 hours post cannabis exposure.
Familial hemiplegic migraine type 2 (FHM2) causes a malfunction of astrocytes in the cingulate cortex. Manipulating astrocytes in the cingulate cortex reversed the disfunction, preventing an increase in migraine-like symptoms in mice carrying the FHM2 defect.