1st Edition

Astrocytes Wiring the Brain

Edited By Eliana Scemes, David C. Spray Copyright 2012
    436 Pages 16 Color & 44 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    450 Pages 16 Color & 44 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Astrocytes play diverse roles in central nervous system (CNS) function and dysfunction, and the connections that the astrocyte makes with other cells of the brain are essential for a variety of important neural tasks. Bringing together contributions from international experts at the top of their field, Astrocytes: Wiring the Brain emphasizes cellular connections and surveys the most current findings on astrocyte activity.

    The first section of the book identifies major astrocyte biomarkers and describes how they define the different connectivity domains. Next, the book examines the role of these connections. It explains how their function can be manipulated under physiological conditions and how dysfunction of the connectivity leads to aberrant brain performance. The final section explores the alterations of glia that have been observed in specific diseases of the brain. These include epilepsy, autoimmune encephalitis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and major depression. The book identifies key mechanisms responsible for these alterations.

    An important and emerging field, astrocytes and their functions are critical to neuroscientists and neurologists, both in academia and in industry, particularly in the search for and development of new drugs to combat a variety of diseases affecting the CNS. As research continues to grow in this area, this volume will spur heightened advances and understanding into the effects of these neural cells on a range of pathologies.

    Introduction to Cluster A: Functional Biomarkers at the Interface
    Mature Protoplasmic Mammalian Astrocytes: Morphology, Interrelationships, and Implications for Function; H. K. Kimelberg
    Biomarkers of Astrocyte Microdomains: Focus on Gap Junctions, Purinergic Receptors, and Aquaporins; E. Scemes and G. P. Nicchia
    Adhesion Molecules and their Function in Astrocyte Polarity; S. Carbonetto, E. Camand, and S. Etienne-Manneville
    Contribution of Astrocytes to CNS Immunity: Roles of Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs); N. Esen and T. Kielian
    Introduction to Cluster B: Establishment of Functional Units: Multimodality at the Tips
    Neuroglial Networks: Glial Wiring Also Matters; C. Giaume
    Astrocyte-Neuron Communication: What Goes Wrong in Pathology? D. Rossi and A. Volterra
    Blood-Brain Barrier and the Neural Vascular Unit; R. Dermietzel and D. C. Spray
    Oligodendrocytes: Gateway to the Panglial Syncytium; K. G. V. Davidson and J. E. Rash
    Microglia and Non-CNS Cells in Paracrine Signaling and CNS Immunity: Effects of Pathogens, Age, and Life History; E. H. Wilson and M. J. Carson
    CNS Pathology: Disruption of Astrocyte Connectivity: Introduction
    Astrocytes in Epilepsy; C. Steinhäuser and G. Seifert
    Astrocyte Involvement in the Acquired Demyelinating Diseases; S. E. Lutz, C. S. Raine, and C. Brosnan
    Neuroglia in Alzheimer’s Disease; J. J. Rodríguez Arellano, C. Matute and A. Verkhratsky
    The Role of Glial Pathology in Autism; R. E. Kneeland, S. B. Liesch, T. D. Folsom, and S. H. Fatemi
    Astrocytes in Major Depressive Disorder and Schizophrenia: Pathophysiological and Therapeutic Aspects; M. J. Schwarz and A.-M. Myint


    Eliana Scemes obtained her PhD from the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, and joined the faculty of the Institute of Biosciences at USP, where her research was primarily on nervous systems of jellyfish and the marine mollusk Aplysia. She spent two sabbatical years at Einstein and joined the faculty at Einstein College of Medicine in 1997, becoming Professor in 2010. Her current research interest is in the role of connexin and pannexin channels in astrocytes and brain pathophysiology.

    David C. Spray obtained his PhD from the University of Florida College of Medicine and after a postdoctorate, joined the faculty at Einstein College of Medicine, where he became Professor of Neuroscience in 1986 and Medicine (Cardiology) in 1993. His major research interest is in gap junctions, primarily in physiological studies of their modulations and functions in the nervous system and elsewhere, and also in studies of regulation of gap junction and other genes in various pathological conditions, including parasitic infections causing Chagas disease and cerebral malaria.