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Glial Cells and Integrity of the Nervous System

  • Rommy von BernhardiEmail author
  • Jaime Eugenín-von Bernhardi
  • Betsi Flores
  • Jaime Eugenín León
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 949)

Abstract

Today, there is enormous progress in understanding the function of glial cells, including astroglia, oligodendroglia, Schwann cells, and microglia. Around 150 years ago, glia were viewed as a glue among neurons. During the course of the twentieth century, microglia were discovered and neuroscientists’ views evolved toward considering glia only as auxiliary cells of neurons. However, over the last two to three decades, glial cells’ importance has been reconsidered because of the evidence on their involvement in defining central nervous system architecture, brain metabolism, the survival of neurons, development and modulation of synaptic transmission, propagation of nerve impulses, and many other physiological functions. Furthermore, increasing evidence shows that glia are involved in the mechanisms of a broad spectrum of pathologies of the nervous system, including some psychiatric diseases, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases to mention a few. It appears safe to say that no neurological disease can be understood without considering neuron–glia crosstalk. Thus, this book aims to show different roles played by glia in the healthy and diseased nervous system, highlighting some of their properties while considering that the various glial cell types are essential components not only for cell function and integration among neurons, but also for the emergence of important brain homeostasis.

Keywords

Astrocytes Microglia Myelin Development Neuron–glia crosstalk Neuroimmunity NG-2 cells Oligodendrocyte Schwann cells Tripartite synapses 

Abbreviations

ADNF

Activity-dependent neurotrophic factor

ADAM10

A disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 10

AMPA

α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid

ATP

Adenosine triphosphate

CNS

Central nervous system

EAAT

Excitatory amino acid transporters

EGF

Epidermal growth factor

ER

Endoplasmic reticulum

FcR

Receptor for the (Fragment, crystallizable) region of antibodies

GABA

γ-aminobutyric acid

GDNF

Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor

GFAP

Glial fibrillary acidic protein

IGF-I

Insulin-like growth factor 1

iNOS

Inducible nitric oxide synthase

InsP3

Inositol trisphosphate

MAG

Myelin associated glycoprotein

MBP

Myelin basic protein

MOG

Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein

MS

Multiple sclerosis

NCAM

Neural cell adhesion molecule

NG-2

Neuron–Glia antigen 2

NMDA

n-methyl-d-aspartate

NO

Nitric oxide

OPCs

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells

PLP

Proteolipidprotein/DM20

PNS

Peripheral nervous system

PMP22

Peripheral myelin protein-22

P0

Protein zero

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

TNFα

Tumor necrosis factor α

VGLUT

Vesicular glutamate transporters

VNUT

Vesicular nucleotide transporters

Notes

Acknowledgments

Supported by Grants Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT) 1130874 (JE) and 1131025 (RvB).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rommy von Bernhardi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jaime Eugenín-von Bernhardi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Betsi Flores
    • 1
  • Jaime Eugenín León
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, School of MedicinePontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Physiological Genomics, Biomedical CenterLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMunichGermany
  3. 3.Graduate School of Systemic NeuroscienceLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityPlanegg-Martinsried, MunichGermany
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry and BiologyUSACHSantiagoChile

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