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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2019 Jun;56:40-46. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.006. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

Astrocyte identity: evolutionary perspectives on astrocyte functions and heterogeneity.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States; Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, 145 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States. Electronic address: yongjie.yang@tufts.edu.
2
Department of Neuroscience, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States; Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, 145 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA, 02111, United States. Electronic address: rob.jackson@tufts.edu.

Abstract

The development of new animal models, in vivo isolation approaches, and improvements in genome-wide RNA expression methods have greatly propelled molecular profiling of astrocytes and the characterization of astrocyte heterogeneity in the central nervous system (CNS). Several recent reviews have comprehensively discussed the molecular and functional diversity of mammalian astrocytes. In this brief review, we emphasize interspecies comparisons and an evolutionary perspective regarding the astro(glia) of vertebrates and invertebrates which are similar in form and function. This analysis has revealed conserved astrocyte transcriptomes in the fly, mouse and human. We also offer opinions about the pattern and origin of astrocyte heterogeneity in the CNS.

PMID:
30529823
PMCID:
PMC6551291
[Available on 2020-06-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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