This manuscript starts with a brief review of recent research on the role of astrocytes in homeostatic mechanisms within the CNS. Astrocytes in primary culture have been found to contain the whole pantheon of receptors and also some of the uptake systems for CNS transmitters; properties which were formerly thought to be exclusively neuronal. The uptake of transmitters, usually by Na+-dependent mechanisms, and their subsequent inactivation by metabolism is then briefly described. The effects of methylmercury (MeHg) on astrocytic function are discussed, and the relatively small amount of information currently available of how MeHg may interfere with astrocytic functions is also reviewed. The potential role of astrocytes in MeHg sequestration is also discussed, particularly in terms of the ability of this heavy metal to induce the expression and synthesis of metallothionein (MT).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Jun 28 1996|
- In Vitro
ASJC Scopus subject areas