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Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2006 Jul;7(7):619-24.

Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the brain--implications for disease.

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Instituto Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


Studies have demonstrated the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Beside the active role of astrocytes in the physiology of the nervous system, recent findings indicate the direct participation of astrocytes in the pathogenesis of some nervous system dysfunctions. In addition to the well-known pathological consequences of disturbances to astrocytes in brain homeostasis, it is recognized that the uncontrolled function or disruption of mechanisms involved in astrocyte-neuron signaling may result in the occurrence of brain diseases. Therefore, astrocytes may be considered as appropriate cellular targets to direct therapeutic approaches for the treatment of several brain diseases.

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