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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 ?
Sejnowski and Pinto-Duarte showed that although the mice without IP3R2 and reduced astrocyte activity had no problems with the former, they exhibited significant deficits in the latter, suggesting that astrocytes may be playing a role specifically in the long-term depression of the connections between neurons.
Rothstein's team focused on a particular astrocyte protein, glutamate transporter-1, which previous studies suggested was lost from astrocytes in certain parts of brains with neurodegenerative diseases.
They observed that the level of expression of this gene declines naturally, a short time before astrocyte production begins.
On day 7, inserts were selected at random and moved to a new plate, with paraformaldehyde/PBS added to the astrocyte and endothelial sides of the insert and fixed.
To measure the pH balance within endosomes without breaking open the astrocyte, researchers used pH-sensitive probes that are absorbed by endosomes and emit light based on pH levels.
Mouse cortical astrocytes C8-D1A (astrocyte type I clone from C57/BL6 strains), were purchased from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC, CRL-2541[TM], USA).
An astrocyte (green) interacting with a synapse (red), producing an optical signal (yellow)
Previous studies with underwater transient pressure chambers have shown that 17 psi overpressure causes minimal astrocyte death or detachment immediately following exposure [12].
Note that many existing astrocyte models do not account for one or both these characteristics.
In humans, astrocyte proliferation in the brain is detected adjacent to both ischemic and hemorrhagic lesions [105].
In the central nervous system (CNS), astrocyte is one of the major players which are responsible for producing cytokines locally [5].