Physiology of astroglia

Alexei Verkhratsky, Vladimir Parpura, Nina Vardjan, Robert Zorec

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Astrocytes are principal cells responsible for maintaining the brain homeostasis. Additionally, these glial cells are also involved in homocellular (astrocyte-astrocyte) and heterocellular (astrocyte-other cell types) signalling and metabolism. These astroglial functions require an expression of the assortment of molecules, be that transporters or pumps, to maintain ion concentration gradients across the plasmalemma and the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum. Astrocytes sense and balance their neurochemical environment via variety of transmitter receptors and transporters. As they are electrically non-excitable, astrocytes display intracellular calcium and sodium fluctuations, which are not only used for operative signalling but can also affect metabolism. In this chapter we discuss the molecules that achieve ionic gradients and underlie astrocyte signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroglia in Neurodegenerative Diseases
EditorsAlexei Verkhratsky, Margaret S. Ho, Robert Zorec, Vladimir Parpura
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages47
ISBN (Electronic)9789811399138
ISBN (Print)9789811399121
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Astrocytes
  • Brain homoeostasis
  • Ca signalling
  • Ion channels
  • Na signalling
  • Neurotransmitter receptors
  • SLC transporters


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