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Keywords:

  • Neuron-glia interactions;
  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein;
  • Axon growth

Abstract

The astroglial response to CNS injury is considered in the context of neuron-glial relationships. Although previous models suggested that astroglial cells present in “scars” impede axon regrowth owing to irreversible changes in the glial cell following injury, recent in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that astroglial cells exhibit considerable plasticity, elevating expression of the glial filament protein and altering expression of properties which support axons, including extracellular matrix components and cell surface adhesion systems. Both in vivo and in vitro studies on neuron-glia interactions in different brain regions suggest that glia express region-specific properties, including ion channels, neurotransmitter uptake and receptor systems, and cell surface adhesion systems. Together these findings suggest that a more detailed analysis of glial response to injury in different brain regions will lead to an appreciation of the diversity of the astroglial response to injury, and its regulation by neuron-glia relationships.