Heterogeneous astrocytes: Active players in CNS

Xin Hu, Yimin Yuan, Dan Wang, Zhida Su

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Astrocytes, the predominant cell type that are broadly distributed in the brain and spinal cord, play key roles in maintaining homeostasis of the central nerve system (CNS) in physiological and pathological conditions. Increasing evidence indicates that astrocytes are a complex colony with heterogeneity on morphology, gene expression, function and many other aspects depending on their spatio-temporal distribution and activation level. In pathological conditions, astrocytes differentially respond to all kinds of insults, including injury and disease, and participate in the neuropathological process. Based on current studies, we here give an overview of the roles of heterogeneous astrocytes in CNS, especially in neuropathologies, which focuses on biological and functional diversity of astrocytes. We propose that a precise understanding of the heterogeneous astrocytes is critical to unlocking the secrets about pathogenesis and treatment of the mazy CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Astrocyte
  • CNS injury
  • Function
  • Heterogeneity
  • Neurological disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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