Asrocytic responses constitute one of the earliest and most prominent changes in the CNS following ischemic injury. Astrocytes are known to carry out critical functions such as maintenance of ionic homeostasis, prevention of excitotoxicity, scavenging free radicals, provision of nutrients and growth factors, promotion of neovascularization, and support of synaptogenesis and neurogenesis that potentially may influence the outcome of ischemic injury. This article reviews ischemia-associated alterations in astrocytes and their potential significance. Interactions with neurons, microglia, and endothelial cells are also considered. This article highlights the critical role of astrocytes in the CNS response to ischemic injury.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.