Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 7 (4), 494-506

Reactive Astrocytes as Therapeutic Targets for CNS Disorders

Affiliations
Review

Reactive Astrocytes as Therapeutic Targets for CNS Disorders

Mary E Hamby et al. Neurotherapeutics.

Abstract

Reactive astrogliosis has long been recognized as a ubiquitous feature of CNS pathologies. Although its roles in CNS pathology are only beginning to be defined, genetic tools are enabling molecular dissection of the functions and mechanisms of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. It is now clear that reactive astrogliosis is not simply an all-or-nothing phenomenon but, rather, is a finely gradated continuum of molecular, cellular, and functional changes that range from subtle alterations in gene expression to scar formation. These changes can exert both beneficial and detrimental effects in a context-dependent manner determined by specific molecular signaling cascades. Dysfunction of either astrocytes or the process of reactive astrogliosis is emerging as an important potential source of mechanisms that might contribute to, or play primary roles in, a host of CNS disorders via loss of normal or gain of abnormal astrocyte activities. A rapidly growing understanding of the mechanisms underlying astrocyte signaling and reactive astrogliosis has the potential to open doors to identifying many molecules that might serve as novel therapeutic targets for a wide range of neurological disorders. This review considers general principles and examines selected examples regarding the potential of targeting specific molecular aspects of reactive astrogliosis for therapeutic manipulations, including regulation of glutamate, reactive oxygen species, and cytokines.

Similar articles

  • Astrocytes: Biology and Pathology
    MV Sofroniew et al. Acta Neuropathol 119 (1), 7-35. PMID 20012068. - Review
    Astrocytes are specialized glial cells that outnumber neurons by over fivefold. They contiguously tile the entire central nervous system (CNS) and exert many essential co …
  • Molecular Dissection of Reactive Astrogliosis and Glial Scar Formation
    MV Sofroniew. Trends Neurosci 32 (12), 638-47. PMID 19782411. - Review
    Reactive astrogliosis, whereby astrocytes undergo varying molecular and morphological changes, is a ubiquitous but poorly understood hallmark of all central nervous syste …
  • Astrogliosis
    MV Sofroniew. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol 7 (2), a020420. PMID 25380660. - Review
    In addition to their many functions in the healthy central nervous system (CNS), astrocytes respond to CNS damage and disease through a process called astrogliosis. For m …
  • Pathophysiology of Astroglial Purinergic Signalling
    H Franke et al. Purinergic Signal 8 (3), 629-57. PMID 22544529. - Review
    Astrocytes are fundamental for central nervous system (CNS) physiology and are the fulcrum of neurological diseases. Astroglial cells control development of the nervous s …
  • Astrocytes: A Central Element in Neurological Diseases
    M Pekny et al. Acta Neuropathol 131 (3), 323-45. PMID 26671410. - Review
    The neurone-centred view of the past disregarded or downplayed the role of astroglia as a primary component in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. As this concept …
See all similar articles

Cited by 124 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback