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      Diversity of astrocyte functions and phenotypes in neural circuits

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      1 , 2 , 2
      Nature neuroscience

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          Abstract

          Astrocytes tile the entire CNS. They are vital for neural circuit function, but have traditionally been viewed as simple homogenous cells that serve the same essential supportive roles everywhere. Here, we summarize exciting breakthroughs that instead indicate astrocytes represent a population of complex and functionally diverse cells. Physiological diversity of astrocytes is apparent between different brain circuits and microcircuits, and individual astrocytes display diverse signaling within subcellular compartments. With respect to injury and disease, astrocytes undergo diverse phenotypic changes that may be protective or causative with regard to pathology in a context dependent manner. These new insights herald the concept that astrocytes represent a diverse population of genetically tractable cells that mediate neural circuit specific roles in health and disease.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          9809671
          21092
          Nat Neurosci
          Nat. Neurosci.
          Nature neuroscience
          1097-6256
          1546-1726
          13 January 2017
          July 2015
          23 January 2017
          : 18
          : 7
          : 942-952
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA CA 90095-1751
          [2 ]Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA CA 90095-1751
          Author notes
          Prepublication editorial correspondence to BSK, Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, 53-263 CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1751, Fax: 310 206 5661, Tel : 310 825 6258, bkhakh@ 123456mednet.ucla.edu
          [Ψ ] Final correspondence to BSK and MVS:, BSK, bkhakh@ 123456mednet.ucla.edu , and, MVS, Sofroniew@ 123456mednet.ucla.edu
          Article
          PMC5258184 PMC5258184 5258184 nihpa842577
          10.1038/nn.4043
          5258184
          26108722
          5cb3c8a7-6cd3-406f-800f-5f85f1b2123d
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