Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 967–983 | Cite as

The beta astrocyte: a newly recognized radiosensitive glial cell type in the cerebral cortex

  • H. Reyners
  • E. Gianfelici de Reyners
  • J. R. Maisin


A highly radiosensitive glial cell type is described. The cell displays ultrastructural characteristics intermediate between the normal astrocyte and the light oligodendrocyte. It disappears from the cerebral cortex shortly after irradiation with doses ⩾ 20 Gy. One year after this treatment, the cell type had reappeared but its frequency was still significantly lower than in age-matched sham-treated controls. The numbers of oligodendrocytes and microglial cells were also reduced at this time. The new cell element, called here a beta astrocyte, is present in significant numbers in the normal rat brain and its role as a multipotential reserve glial cell is discussed.


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Reyners
    • 1
  • E. Gianfelici de Reyners
    • 1
  • J. R. Maisin
    • 1
  1. 1.CEN/SCK Department of RadiobiologyCentre d'Etude de l'Energie NucleaireMolBelgium

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