Astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and schwann cells

Malabendu Jana, Subhajit Dasgupta, Anuja Ghorpade, Kalipada Pahan

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

2 Scopus citations


Central nervous system (CNS) is composed of two major cell types: neuron and glia. Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes belong to the latter category. Astrocytes, through an intricate network surrounding blood vessels, play an important role in supplying food, water and ions from periphery to the CNS and maintain CNS homeostasis. Astrocytes also play an active role in neurogenesis. However, under inflammatory or neurodegenerative conditions, astrocytes produce proinflammatory mediators and take active part in the ongoing events. Neurons in the CNS are covered by myelin sheath that maintains conduction of nerve impulse. Consistently, the CNS houses oligodendrocytes for myelin synthesis. On the other hand, Schwann cells are the myelinating cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Balanced expression of several genes and activation of transcription factors critically regulate the entire complicated functional network of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. Keeping a birds' eye view, this chapter delineates genesis and functional aspects of astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroimmune Pharmacology
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780387725727
StatePublished - 2008


  • Astrocytes
  • Astrogliosis
  • CNS myelination
  • Calcium excitability
  • Glial precursors
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Oligodendroglial death
  • Oligodendroglial regeneration
  • PNS myelination
  • Schwann cells


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