Astroglial Response to Liver Failure

  • M. D. Norenberg
Part of the Altschul Symposia Series book series (ALSS, volume 2)


The brain is highly dependent on the integrity of other organs for its own function. Organ failure leads to neurological abnormalities often referred to as metabolic encephalopathies. While these encephalopathies are often reversible, permanent changes occur especially when the process has been severe or prolonged. Our laboratory has been particularly interested in the effect of liver failure on the nervous system, a condition referred to as hepatic encephalopathy (HE). It is a disorder in which astroglial changes dominate the histopathology. We have been working on the premise that this disorder may be a primary disorder of astrocytes and that the neuronal dysfunction results from a glial defect. We also believe that a better understanding of this disorder will yield insights into the function of astrocytes and into the CNS consequences of dysfunction of these cells. In this article, I will review recent progress concerning the role of astrocytes in HE especially as it deals with astroglial swelling.


Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Hepatic Encephalopathy Brain Edema Fulminant Hepatic Failure Cell Volume Regulation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Norenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuropathology Veterans Administration Medical Center and Department of PathologyUniversity of Miami/Jackson Memorial HospitalMiamiUSA

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