A Brief Look at Glial Cells

  1. Derek J. Chadwick Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Kristjan R. Jessen

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch2

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

How to Cite

Jessen, K. R. (2006) A Brief Look at Glial Cells, in Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276 (eds D. J. Chadwick and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch2

Author Information

  1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 21 APR 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470018606

Online ISBN: 9780470032244

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Keywords:

  • central and peripheral nervous system glial cells;
  • astrocytes in subventricular zones (SVZ);
  • glia suppress repair;
  • glial cells in multiple sclerosis (MS);
  • neurons and glia interdependence

Summary

Glial cells are numerically the dominant cell type in the central and peripheral nervous system. They are intermixed with the nerve cells and are found in intimate contacts with neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, axons and synaptic contacts. Like neurons, glial cells are a heterogeneous population of cells that differ in developmental origin, molecular composition, structure and activity. When these cells were first discovered some 150 years ago they were viewed as a type of connective tissue support for nerve cells. They are now known to be essential for the development and function of the brain and other parts of the nervous system. They are also central players in a large number of pathological processes. We have therefore moved away from a view of the nervous system as a system of neurons, to the appreciation that it is a neural system where the contributions of both nerve and glial cells are intimately integrated, interdependent and obligatory.