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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Feb 13;7(12). pii: a020396. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a020396.

The Astrocyte: Powerhouse and Recycling Center.

Author information

1
University of Zürich, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
2
Centro de Estudios Científicos, Casilla 1469, Valdivia, Chile.

Abstract

Brain metabolism is characterized by fuel monodependence, high-energy expenditure, autonomy from the rest of body, local recycling, and marked division of labor between cell types. Although neurons spend most of the brain's energy on signaling, astrocytes bear the brunt of the metabolic load, controlling the composition of the interstitial fluid, supplying neurons with energy substrates and precursors for biosynthesis, and recycling neurotransmitters, oxidized scavengers, and other waste products. Outstanding questions in this field are the role of oligodendrocytes, the metabolic behavior of the different subtypes of astrocytes during development and disease, and the emerging notion that metabolism may participate directly in information processing.

PMID:
25680832
PMCID:
PMC4665076
DOI:
10.1101/cshperspect.a020396
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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