Characteristics and function in development and disease
Characteristics of Human Astrocytes
Characterized by their star-like shape astrocytes, also known as astroglia, represent the most abundant cell type in the brain. Closely linked to neurons with pivotal roles in synaptic activity and blood-brain barrier function, the study of astrocytes using in vitro co-culture models is becoming increasingly important in neuroscience research.
Astrocytes support the metabolic and trophic development of neurons . These cells serve a variety a well-established stage-specific functions in synaptogenesis, myelination and neuronal migration as they mature .
Human astrocytes are over 20 times larger by volume and have a vastly increased number of synapses in comparison to individual rodent astrocytes. It is thought this could contribute to advanced human cognitive ability and complexity .
Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC)-Derived Astrocytes in Disease Modeling & Drug Discovery
1. Role of glial cells in the formation and maintenance of synapses. Pfrieger et al., 2010.
2. Astrocytes and disease: a neurodevelopmental perspective. Molofsky et al., 2012.
3. Uniquely hominid features of adult human astrocytes. Oberheim et al., 2009.
4. Mechanisms of astrocyte development and their contributions to neurodevelopmental disorders. Sloan & Barres, 2014.
5. Potentiation of astrogliogenesis by STAT3-mediated activation of bone morphogenetic protein-SMAD signaling in neural stem cells. Fukuda et al., 2007.
6. A positive autoregulatory loop of JAK-STAT signaling controls the onset of astrogliogenesis. He et al., 2005.
7. Synergistic effect of retinoic acid and cytokines on the regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein expression. Herrera & Schubert, 2010.
8. Interplay between SIN3A and STAT3 mediates chromatin conformational changes and GFAP expression during cellular differentiation. Yu et al., 2011.
9. Developmental maturation of astrocytes and pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders. Yang et al. 2013.
10. Increased expression of astrocyte markers in schizophrenia: Association with neuroinflammation. Catts et al., 2014.
11. Neuroglia in ageing and disease. Verkhratsky et al., 2014.
12. The contribution of activated astrocytes to AB production: Implications for Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Zhao et al., 2011.
13. Astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease. Verkhratsky et al., 2010.
14. GFAP glial fibrillary acidic protein [ Homo sapiens (human) ]. NCBI http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/2670