Astrocyte modulation of neurotoxic injury

Michael Aschner, Ursula Sonnewald, Kim H. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Astrocytes produce trophic factors, regulate neurotransmitter and ion concentrations, and remove toxins and debris from the extracellular space of the CNS, maintaining an extracellular milieu that is optimally suited for neuronal function. Consequently, astrocytic functional impairments, as well as physiological reactions of astrocytes to injury have the potential to induce and/or exacerbate neuronal dysfunction. This mini-review showcases contemporary evidence provoking reformulation of concepts of the inter-dependence between astrocytes and neurons and advances several mechanisms used by astrocytes in potentiating or nullifying the final pathway of neuropathologic injury. Though clearly possessing an array of protective systems and upregulating a large number of protective molecules in response to xenobiotic exposure, recent evidence also invokes astrocytes in secondary amplification of cell injury in multiple neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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