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Reactive gliosis in the pathogenesis of CNS diseases

Journal article
Authors Milos Pekny
Marcela Pekna
Published in Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume 1862
Issue 3
Pages 483-491
ISSN 0925-4439
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Pages 483-491
Language en
Keywords spinal-cord-injury, fibrillary acidic protein, central-nervous-system, neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis, blood-brain-barrier, chondroitin sulfate, proteoglycans, promotes axonal regeneration, growth-factor receptor, adult transgenic mice, intermediate-filaments
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Astrocytes maintain the homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) by e.g. recycling of neurotransmitters and providing nutrients to neurons. Astrocytes function also as key regulators of synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis. Any insult to the CNS tissue triggers a range of molecular, morphological and functional changes of astrocytes jointly called reactive (astro)gliosis. Reactive (astro)gliosis is highly heterogeneous and also context-dependent process that aims at the restoration of homeostasis and limits tissue damage. However, under some circumstances, dysfunctional (astro)gliosis can become detrimental and inhibit adaptive neural plasticity mechanisms needed for functional recovery. Understanding the multifaceted and context-specific functions of astrocytes will contribute to the development of novel therapeutic strategies that, when applied at the right time-point, will improve the outcome of diverse neurological disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuro Inflammation edited by Helga E. de Vries and Markus Schwaninger.

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