, Volume 290, Issue 2, pp 385-393

Mechanisms of astrocyte-directed neurite guidance

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Astrocytes have recently become better recognized as playing vital roles in regulating the patterning of central nervous system neurites during development and following injury. In general, astrocytes have been shown to be supportive of neurite extension, but alterations in the biochemical properties of astrocytes in particular areas during development and in gliotic tissue may act to confine neurite outgrowth and thus provide guidance cues. In vivo studies indicate that restrictive astrocytes function through their altered expression of specific extracellular matrix molecules, including tenascin, chondroitin, and keratan sulfate proteoglycans. In addition, several in vitro models suggest that other cell surface molecules are utilized by restrictive astrocytes to direct neurite trajectories.

Received: 5 May 1997 / Accepted: 6 June 1997