The astrocyte represents the most abundant yet least understood cell type of the CNS. Here, we use a stringent experimental strategy to molecularly define the astrocyte lineage by integrating microarray datasets across several in vitro model systems of astrocyte differentiation, primary astrocyte cultures, and various astrocyte-rich CNS structures. The intersection of astrocyte data sets, coupled with the application of nonastrocytic exclusion filters, yielded many astrocyte-specific genes possessing strikingly varied patterns of regional CNS expression. Annotation of these astrocyte-specific genes provides direct molecular documentation of the diverse physiological roles of the astrocyle lineage. This global perspective in the normal brain also provides a framework for how astrocytes may participate in the pathogenesis of common neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, epilepsy, and primary brain tumors.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2004|
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