Astrocyte dysfunction in neurological disorders: a molecular perspective.
ABSTRACT Recent work on glial cell physiology has revealed that glial cells, and astrocytes in particular, are much more actively involved in brain information processing than previously thought. This finding has stimulated the view that the active brain should no longer be regarded solely as a network of neuronal contacts, but instead as a circuit of integrated, interactive neurons and glial cells. Consequently, glial cells could also have as yet unexpected roles in the diseased brain. An improved understanding of astrocyte biology and heterogeneity and the involvement of these cells in pathogenesis offers the potential for developing novel strategies to treat neurological disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Hippocampal sclerosis (HS) is the most common neuropathological pattern observed in pharmacoresistant epilepsy and represents a critical feature in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy syndrome. However, its pathophysiological mechanisms and neuropathological consequences on seizures remain mostly unresolved. The new international classification of hippocampal sclerosis aims at standardizing its description to allow comparisons between different clinical studies. However, several aspects are not considered in this classification (granule cell dispersion, sprouting, glial modifications…). In this chapter, we discuss these different features associated with hippocampal sclerosis in perspective with the "two-hit" hypothesis and propose mechanisms that could be involved in the modulation of some specific neuropathological aspects like early life stress, hyperthermic seizures, brain lesions or hormonal modifications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.Revue Neurologique 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neurol.2015.01.560 · 0.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is the hallmark intermediate filament (IF; also known as nanofilament) protein in astrocytes, a main type of glial cells in the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytes have a range of control and homeostatic functions in health and disease. Astrocytes assume a reactive phenotype in acute CNS trauma, ischemia, and in neurodegenerative diseases. This coincides with an upregulation and rearrangement of the IFs, which form a highly complex system composed of GFAP (10 isoforms), vimentin, synemin, and nestin. We begin to unravel the function of the IF system of astrocytes and in this review we discuss its role as an important crisis-command center coordinating cell responses in situations connected to cellular stress, which is a central component of many neurological diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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ABSTRACT: Vesicles are small intracellular organelles that are fundamental for constitutive housekeeping of the plasmalemma, intercellular transport and cell-to-cell communications. In astroglial cells traffic of vesicles is associated with cell morphology, which determines the signaling potential and metabolic support for neighboring cells, including when these cells are considered to be used for cell transplantations, or for regulating neurogenesis. Moreover, vesicles are used in astrocytes for the release of vesicle-laden chemical messengers. Here we review the properties of membrane-bound vesicles that store gliotransmitters , endolysosomes that are involved in the traffic of plasma membrane receptors and membrane transporters . These vesicles are all linked to pathological states including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, neuroinflammation, trauma, edema, and states in which astrocytes contribute to developmental disorders. In multiple sclerosis, for example, fingolimod, a recently introduced drug, apparently also affects vesicle traffic and gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, indicating that this process may well be used as a new pathophysiologic target for the development of new therapies.Cell Transplantation 03/2015; 24(4). DOI:10.3727/096368915X687750 · 3.57 Impact Factor