Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Astrocytes

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_305

Definition

Astrocytes are star-shaped glial cells integrally involved in synaptic communication by providing nutrients, support and insulation for neurons of the central nervous system. As immunocompetent cells, astrocytes can be activated by bacteria and viruses to release classical immune products. Current studies suggest that astrocytes maintain exaggerated pain in pathological pain models.

 Cord Glial Activation

 Diencephalic Mast Cells

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007