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Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the Blood-brain barrier. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with Microglia) respond to injury.

Modeling Astrocytoma Pathogenesis In Vitro and In Vivo Using Cortical Astrocytes or Neural Stem Cells from Conditional, Genetically Engineered Mice

1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 3Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 4Curriculum in Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 5Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 6Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, 7Department of Neurology, Neurosciences Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

JoVE 51763

 Neuroscience

Glial Cells

JoVE 10843

Glial cells are one of the two main types of cells in the nervous system. Glia cells comprise astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells in the central nervous system, and satellite and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. These cells do not communicate via electrical signals like neurons do, but they contribute to virtually every other aspect of nervous system function. In humans, the number of glial cells is roughly equal to the number of neurons in the brain. Glia in the central nervous system (CNS) include astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells. Astrocytes are the most abundant type of glial cell and are found in organized, non-overlapping patterns throughout the brain, where they closely associate with neurons and capillaries. Astrocytes play numerous roles in brain function, including regulating blood flow and metabolic processes, synaptic ion and pH homeostasis, and blood-brain barrier maintenance. Another specialized glial cell, the oligodendrocyte, forms the myelin sheath that surrounds neuronal axons in the CNS. Oligodendrocytes extend long cellular processes that wrap around axons multiple times to form this coating. Myelin sheath is required for proper conduction of neuronal signaling and greatly increases the speed at which these messages travel. Microglia—known as the macrop

 Core: Biology

In Utero Electroporation of Multiaddressable Genome-Integrating Color (MAGIC) Markers to Individualize Cortical Mouse Astrocytes

1Université de Montpellier, INSERM, Institut des Neurosciences de Montpellier, 2Sorbonne Université, INSERM, CNRS, Institut de la Vision, 3Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), Département de la Recherche Fondamentale, Institut de biologie Francois Jacob, Molecular Imaging Research Center (MIRCen), CNRS UMR 9199, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, 4Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences, Ecole polytechnique, CNRS, INSERM, IP Paris

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JoVE 61110

 JoVE In-Press

Monitoring Astrocyte Reactivity and Proliferation in Vitro Under Ischemic-Like Conditions

1Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, 2Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical Sciences, Campus, University of Puerto Rico

JoVE 55108

 Neuroscience

The Blood-brain Barrier

JoVE 10841

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) refers to the specialized vasculature that provides the brain with nutrients in the blood while strictly regulating the movement of ions, molecules, pathogens, and other substances. It is composed of tightly linked endothelial cells on one side and astrocyte projections on the other. Together they provide a semipermeable barrier that protects the brain and poses unique challenges to the delivery of therapeutics. The BBB is made up of a variety of cellular components, including endothelial cells and astrocytes. These cells share a common basement membrane and together regulate the passage of components between the circulation and the interstitial fluid surrounding the brain. The first type of cellular component, specialized endothelial cells, make up the walls of the cerebral capillaries. They are connected by extremely tight and complex intercellular junctions. These junctions create a selective physical barrier, preventing simple diffusion of most substances, including average to large-sized molecules such as glucose and insulin. A second cell type, astrocytes, are a type of glial cell of the central nervous system which influences endothelial cell function, blood flow, and ion balance in the brain through interaction and close association with cerebral vasculature. They provide a direct link between the vasculature

 Core: Biology

What is a Nervous System?

JoVE 10838

The nervous system is the collection of specialized cells responsible for maintaining an organism’s internal environment and coordinating the interaction of an organism with the external world—from the control of essential functions such as heart rate and breathing to the movement needed to escape danger.

The vertebrate nervous system is divided into two major parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord, and retina—the sensory tissue of the visual system. The PNS contains the sensory receptor cells for all of the other sensory systems—such as the touch receptors in the skin—as well as the nerves that carry information between the CNS and the rest of the body. Additionally, part of both the CNS and PNS contribute to the autonomic nervous system (also known as the visceral motor system). The autonomic nervous system controls smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and glands that govern involuntary actions, such as digestion. The vertebrate brain is primarily divided into the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. The cerebrum is the largest, most anterior part of the brain that is divided into left and right hemispheres. Each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal. The outermost layer of the cerebrum is called

 Core: Biology
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