The role of neuroglia in autism spectrum disorders

Caterina Scuderi, Alexei Verkhratsky

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


Neuroglia are a large class of neural cells of ectodermal (astroglia, oligodendroglia, and peripheral glial cells) and mesodermal (microglia) origin. Neuroglial cells provide homeostatic support, protection, and defense to the nervous tissue. Pathological potential of neuroglia has been acknowledged since their discovery. Research of the recent decade has shown the key role of all classes of glial cells in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), although molecular mechanisms defining glial contribution to ASD are yet to be fully characterized. This narrative conceptualizes recent findings of the broader roles of glial cells, including their active participation in the control of cerebral environment and regulation of synaptic development and scaling, highlighting their putative involvement in the etiopathogenesis of ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutism
EditorsMirolyuba Ilieva, Way Kwok-Wai Lau
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9780128212424
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
ISSN (Print)1877-1173
ISSN (Electronic)1878-0814


  • astrocyte
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • microglia
  • neuroinflammation
  • oligodendrocyte
  • synapse


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