, Volume 70, Issue 22, pp 4201-4211
Date: 19 Feb 2013

Regulation and dysregulation of astrocyte activation and implications in tumor formation

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Abstract

Astrocytic activation is a cellular response to disturbances of the central nervous system (CNS). Recent advances in cellular and molecular biology have demonstrated the remarkable changes in molecular signaling, morphology, and metabolism that occur during astrocyte activation. Based on these studies, it has become clear that the astrocyte activation process is regulated by a variety of signaling pathways, which result in metabolic support, wound healing and scar formation. While normal astrocyte activation pathways drive homeostasis and/or repair in the CNS, dysregulation of these pathways can lead to astrocyte abnormalities, including glioma formation with similar phenotypes as reactive astrocytes. We review the principle pathways responsible for astrocytic activation, as well as their potential contribution to tumor formation in the CNS.