The anatomy of Human Brain Astrocytes

Posted by Jessica Beak on June 20th, 2018

RFP-Human brain astrocytes are also known as astroglia. They are the star-shaped glial cells that reside in the spinal cord and brain of a human being. They are cells that are more in numbers and perform many tasks. These tasks include support of the cells that embraces the blood-brain barrier and also the maintenance of extracellular ion balance. It supplies the essential nutrients to the nerve tissues and works effectively in the scarring and post-traumatic repairing processes. It is also known to perform the signalling tasks.


Functionalities of Astrocytes in the nervous system

The RFP-Human brainastrocytes outnumber neurons 50:1 and play a very active role in the nervous system. The previous ideology about the astrocytes says that they are nothing more than filler cells. The astrocytes serve for the maintenance, repairing and the support of the nervous tissues that are more than responsible for maintaining the plasticity of the nervous system. It also modulates the synaptic transmission by creating and releasing the glutamate. According to the recent research, the astrocytes communicate with the neurons by releasing the transmitters which are known as gliotransmitters.

Astrocytes control the neuronal circuits by properly regulating the overall formation and the maintenance of the synapses. These synaptic signals rely on the molecules which are secreted by the astrocytes. Astrocytes respond to the CNS during an injury through a process which is called reactive astrogliosis.

Types of astrocytes

There are three types of RFP-Human brain astrocytes in the CNS.

  • Fibrous astroglia- This astroglia is commonly found in the white matter of the brain. They have a very few organelles and a long and lengthy process.
  • Radial Astrocytes- These astrocytes exist at the intersection area of the pia mater and the grey matter. The pia mater is the innermost layer of the membranes which surrounds the spinal cord and the brain. The radial glia is also present in the vertebrate eye. These cells are bipolar and have an ovoid body and an elongated process. These cells are the prime cells that develop from the neural progenitors and forms the scaffold structures that help in the neuron migration phase.
  • Protoplasmic glia- This glia has organelles in a huge number which is quite relative to the fibrous cells. They are short and are usually found in the grey matter.

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Jessica Beak

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Jessica Beak
Joined: May 17th, 2017
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