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Any of a group of star-shaped cells that have long processes extending out in all directions and are components of the neuroglia, providing support for neurons in the central nervous system and playing a variety of roles in synaptic transmission.

as′tro·cyt′ic (-sĭt′ĭk) adj.


(Biology) any of the star-shaped cells in the tissue supporting the brain and spinal cord (neuroglia)


(ˈæs trəˌsaɪt)

a star-shaped neuroglial cell of ectodermal origin.
as`tro•cyt′ic (-ˈsɪt ɪk) adj.


A star-shaped type of cell that supports neurons in the brain and spinal cord. See neuroglia.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.astrocyte - comparatively large neuroglial cell
glial cell, neurogliacyte, neuroglial cell - a cell of the neuroglia
astroglia, macroglia - tissue consisting of large stellate neuroglial cells
fibrous astrocyte - star-shaped cells with long processes; found in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord
protoplasmic astrocyte - a kind of astrocyte found in the grey matter
References in periodicals archive ?
Another advantage is that the astrocyte precursor cells can be frozen and later expanded and differentiated as needed, saving researchers about six weeks with each new experiment.
The ER stress transducer protein Old Astrocyte Specifically Induced Substance (OASIS), a member of the CREB/ATF family transcription factors, transmits UPR signaling in a cell- or tissue-specific manner.
But when the mice were kept awake, to mimic chronic sleep-loss, the researchers found that astrocyte activity had increased in their brains.
All of the DsRed-expressing cells exhibited the astrocyte-specific intricate bushy or spongiform morphology, confirming they were astrocytes located in the CNS.
Inflammatory brain changes appear to develop 20 years before the onset of symptoms in people with some familial forms of Alzheimer's disease, according to a longitudinal analysis of PET imaging biomarkers of astrocyte activation, amyloid-beta accumulation, and glucose metabolism in the brain.
For this study, the team used the tracer molecules PIB, Deprenyl and FDG to study the amount of amyloid plaques, inflammatory changes in the form of astrocyte activation, astrocytes being the most common type of glial (supporting) cell in the brain.
The purpose of this review is to (1) provide an overview of astrocyte and microglia-mediated regulation of neuronal cell function and fate following ischemic injury; (2) discuss the relevance of glial mitochondrial function in response to ischemic injury; (3) review coordination of mitochondrial homeostasis by B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) family members; and (4) present current evidence demonstrating the critical role miRs play in regulating glial mitochondrial function in response to cerebral ischemic injury.
Other astrocyte projections connect to nearby capillaries, helping to bring oxygen-rich blood to the neurons.
This suggests that TRF and [alpha]-TCP, at low concentration and short pre-incubation period, exert potential prophylactic effect against the toxicity of glutamate in astrocyte.
Although astrocytes are generally less susceptible to oxidative injury than neurons, there is strong evidence that oxidative stress also alters astrocyte function (Peuchen et al.
13) In addition, some studies have shown that the over-expression of bcl-2 in astrocytes increases neuronal survival against stressors, an effect that is attributed to enhanced astrocyte function during stress.