Astrocytes going live: advances and challenges

J Physiol. 2009 Apr 15;587(Pt 8):1639-47. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2008.167171. Epub 2009 Feb 9.


Astrocytes are one of the most numerous cell types in the CNS. They have emerged as sophisticated cells participating in a large and diverse variety of functions vital for normal brain development, adult physiology and pathology. Recent in vivo studies have provided exciting new insight into astrocyte physiology in the intact healthy brain. This review will summarize some of their most intriguing findings, discuss some of their implications, and look ahead at some of the challenges we face in studying astrocyte function in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents