Astrocyte

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 Astrocytes are a form of glial cell that are extremely abundant in the brain and central nervous system. Their name is derived from the Greek Astra, meaning star, in reference to their outward reaching processes.They surround and help to nourish the neurons. Astrocytes can be subdivided into two categories based upon cellular morphology and location: protoplasmic or fibrous[1]. Protoplasmic astrocytes are found in grey matter and have a structure of many fine branches that form an overall globular shape [2]. Fibrous astrocytes get their name from their thick, fibrous extensions and occur in the white matter [3]. Both astrocytes form gap junctions between the neighbouring astrocytes, but protoplasmic surround and contact synapses while fibrous keep in contact with the nodes of Ranvier [4]


  1. Ramon Y, Cajal S (1909) Histologie du systeme nerveux de l’homme et des vertebres. Maloine, Paris
  2. Ramon Y, Cajal S (1909) Histologie du systeme nerveux de l’homme et des vertebres. Maloine, Paris
  3. Ramon Y, Cajal S (1909) Histologie du systeme nerveux de l’homme et des vertebres. Maloine, Paris
  4. Peters A, Palay SL, Webster HD (1991) The fine structure of the nervous system, Third edn. Oxford University Press, New York

Sonfroniew MV, Vinters HV. Astrocytes: Biology and pathology. Acta Neuropathologica. 2010;119(1): 7–35. doi 10.1007/s00401-009-0619-8

Peters A, Palay SL, Webster HD. The fine structure of the nervous system, Third edn. Oxford University Press, New York. 2006. 

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