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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 ?
The other subset of astrocytoma is characterized by a more heterogeneous population of cells, many of which have abundant glassy, eosinophilic cytoplasm (gemistocytic astrocyte).
Though recent histological reports support T1 shortening due to increased cytoplasmic protein content within reactive gemistocytic astrocytes, likely precipitated by hyperosmolar injury and potential microcirculatory hyperviscosity, other cofactors would likely underlie the density changes on CT.
Few multinucleated and gemistocytic astrocytes were also seen.