Astrocytes are no longer seen as a homogenous population of cells. In fact, recent studies indicate that astrocytes are morphologically and functionally diverse and play critical roles in neurodevelopmental diseases such as Rett syndrome and fragile X mental retardation. This review summarizes recent advances in astrocyte development, including the role of neural tube patterning in specification and developmental functions of astrocytes during synaptogenesis. We propose here that a precise understanding of astrocyte development is critical to defining heterogeneity and could lead advances in understanding and treating a variety of neuropsychiatric diseases.
- Heredodegenerative Disorders, Nervous System
- Mental Disorders
- Neural Stem Cells
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't