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Mini Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01346

Astrocyte-derived paracrine signals: relevance for neurogenic niche regulation and blood-brain barrier integrity

  • 1Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Italy
  • 2University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy
  • 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy

Astrocytes are essential for proper regulation of the central nervous system (CNS). Importantly, these cells are highly secretory in nature. Indeed they can release hundreds of molecules which play pivotal physiological roles in nervous tissues and whose abnormal regulation has been associated with several CNS disorders. In agreement with these findings, recent studies have provided exciting insights into the key contribution of astrocyte-derived signals in the pleiotropic functions of these cells in brain health and diseases. In the future, deeper analysis of the astrocyte secretome is likely to further increase our current knowledge on the full potential of these cells and their secreted molecules not only as active participants in pathophysiological events, but as pharmacological targets or even as therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Herein we will highlight recent findings in our and other laboratories on selected molecules that are actively secreted by astrocytes and contribute in two distinct functions with pathophysiological relevance for the astroglial population: i) regulation of Neural Stem Cells (NSC) and their progeny within adult neurogenic niches; ii) modulation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity and function.

Keywords: Astrocytes, Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), Neural stem cells (NSCs), Neurogenesis, niche, Paracrine signals, Secretome

Received: 02 Sep 2019; Accepted: 24 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Spampinato, Bortolotto, Canonico, Sortino and Grilli. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Maria A. Sortino, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, 95123, Sicily, Italy, msortino@unict.it
Prof. Mariagrazia Grilli, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, 28100, Italy, mariagrazia.grilli@uniupo.it