Immune function of astrocytes
Version of Record online: 2 OCT 2001
Copyright © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Special Issue: Neuroinflammation
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 180–190, November 2001
How to Cite
Dong, Y. and Benveniste, E. N. (2001), Immune function of astrocytes. Glia, 36: 180–190. doi: 10.1002/glia.1107
- Issue online: 2 OCT 2001
- Version of Record online: 2 OCT 2001
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUN 2001
- Manuscript Received: 24 APR 2001
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Numbers: MH-55795, NS-29719, NS-34856, NS-39954, NS-36765
- immune reactivity
Astrocytes are the major glial cell within the central nervous system (CNS) and have a number of important physiological properties related to CNS homeostasis. The aspect of astrocyte biology addressed in this review article is the astrocyte as an immunocompetent cell within the brain. The capacity of astrocytes to express class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens and costimulatory molecules (B7 and CD40) that are critical for antigen presentation and T-cell activation are discussed. The functional role of astrocytes as immune effector cells and how this may influence aspects of inflammation and immune reactivity within the brain follows, emphasizing the involvement of astrocytes in promoting Th2 responses. The ability of astrocytes to produce a wide array of chemokines and cytokines is discussed, with an emphasis on the immunological properties of these mediators. The significance of astrocytic antigen presentation and chemokine/cytokine production to neurological diseases with an immunological component is described. GLIA 36:180–190, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.