Pro-regenerative properties of cytokine-activated astrocytes
Article first published online: 22 APR 2004
Journal of Neurochemistry
Volume 89, Issue 5, pages 1092–1100, June 2004
How to Cite
Liberto, C. M., Albrecht, P. J., Herx, L. M., Yong, V. W. and Levison, S. W. (2004), Pro-regenerative properties of cytokine-activated astrocytes. Journal of Neurochemistry, 89: 1092–1100. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2004.02420.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2004
- Article first published online: 22 APR 2004
- Received September 30, 2003; revised manuscript received January 4, 2004; accepted February 2, 2004.
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The prevailing view of the astrocytic response to injury is that reactive astrocytes impede the regenerative process by forming scar tissue. As the levels of many cytokines dramatically increase following CNS insult and as this increase in cytokine expression precedes the production of the glial scar, a long-standing view has been that cytokines diminish neuronal survival and regeneration by stimulating the formation of astrogliotic scar tissue. However, there is a wealth of data indicating that cytokines ‘activate’ astrocytes, and that cytokine-stimulated astrocytes can promote the recovery of CNS function. Supporting evidence demonstrates that cytokine-activated astrocytes produce energy substrates and trophic factors for neurons and oligodendrocytes, act as free radical and excess glutamate scavengers, actively restore the blood–brain barrier, promote neovascularization, restore CNS ionic homeostasis, promote remyelination and also stimulate neurogenesis from neural stem cells. Accordingly, a re-assessment of cytokine-activated astrocytes is necessary. Here, we review studies that promote the thesis that cytokines elicit potent neuroprotective and regenerative responses from astrocytes.