Research Topic

The Role of Astroglia and Oligodendroglia in CNS Development, Plasticity, and Disease – Novel Tools and Investigative Approaches

About this Research Topic

Since their discovery and for a long time, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were thought to support neurons only passively. In line with this view, neurological and psychiatric disorders have long been interpreted as the exclusive consequence of abnormalities in neurons.

The development of novel tools and methodologies to probe and control glial cell functions and signaling has allowed an unprecedented level of comprehension of astro- and oligodendro-glia contribution to CNS development, homeostasis maintenance, and plasticity. Both cell types provide metabolic support to neurons, promote synchronization of neuronal networks and are involved in potassium buffering and in the maintenance of an appropriate extracellular milieu to support neuronal activity.

Astroglia supports synaptogenesis and synapse plasticity, whereas oligodendroglia sustains axon maturation and integrity, and plastically respond to experience with de-novo myelin deposition or remodeling.

Dysregulations affecting the crosstalk between astrocytes/oligodendrocytes/oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and neurons can be primarily involved in the initiation and progression of several neuropathologies, including stroke, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and psychiatric disorders.

The goal of this Research Topic is to create a discussion forum, highlighting state-of-the-art methodological approaches and novel tools to achieve an in-depth understanding of astro- and oligodendro-glia ‘s role in CNS homeostasis, development, plasticity, and disease.
We welcome original research and reviews focusing, but not limited to, the following:

- Multiphoton imaging and novel optogenetic/chemogenetic approaches to study astro-/oligodendro-glia plasticity and communication with neurons;
- 3D electron microscopy and virtual reality analyses to study cellular compartments and investigate glia-neuron spatial relationships;
- Clonal analyses and novel lineage tracing approaches to investigate astro-/oligodendro-genesis and in vivo cell fates;
- Optimized protocols of astrocyte/oligodendrocyte derivation from iPSCs or non-neural cells;
- Isolation, characterization and exploitation of astro- and oligodendro-glia -derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) as biomarkers and therapeutic tools;
- High-throughput analyses (genomic, metabolomic, lipidomic) to investigate astro- and oligodendro-glia heterogeneity, metabolism, and novel mechanisms of glia-neuron crosstalk;
- Novel in vivo and in vitro models to study Myelination, Demyelination, and Remyelination
- Generation of new animal models to study astro-/oligodendro-glial physiology and pathophysiology;
- Non-invasive brain stimulation approaches to promote myelination and astroglia responses relevant to psychiatric diseases


Keywords: Astrocyte, Oligodendrocyte, NG2 cells, methods, imaging


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Since their discovery and for a long time, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were thought to support neurons only passively. In line with this view, neurological and psychiatric disorders have long been interpreted as the exclusive consequence of abnormalities in neurons.

The development of novel tools and methodologies to probe and control glial cell functions and signaling has allowed an unprecedented level of comprehension of astro- and oligodendro-glia contribution to CNS development, homeostasis maintenance, and plasticity. Both cell types provide metabolic support to neurons, promote synchronization of neuronal networks and are involved in potassium buffering and in the maintenance of an appropriate extracellular milieu to support neuronal activity.

Astroglia supports synaptogenesis and synapse plasticity, whereas oligodendroglia sustains axon maturation and integrity, and plastically respond to experience with de-novo myelin deposition or remodeling.

Dysregulations affecting the crosstalk between astrocytes/oligodendrocytes/oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and neurons can be primarily involved in the initiation and progression of several neuropathologies, including stroke, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and psychiatric disorders.

The goal of this Research Topic is to create a discussion forum, highlighting state-of-the-art methodological approaches and novel tools to achieve an in-depth understanding of astro- and oligodendro-glia ‘s role in CNS homeostasis, development, plasticity, and disease.
We welcome original research and reviews focusing, but not limited to, the following:

- Multiphoton imaging and novel optogenetic/chemogenetic approaches to study astro-/oligodendro-glia plasticity and communication with neurons;
- 3D electron microscopy and virtual reality analyses to study cellular compartments and investigate glia-neuron spatial relationships;
- Clonal analyses and novel lineage tracing approaches to investigate astro-/oligodendro-genesis and in vivo cell fates;
- Optimized protocols of astrocyte/oligodendrocyte derivation from iPSCs or non-neural cells;
- Isolation, characterization and exploitation of astro- and oligodendro-glia -derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) as biomarkers and therapeutic tools;
- High-throughput analyses (genomic, metabolomic, lipidomic) to investigate astro- and oligodendro-glia heterogeneity, metabolism, and novel mechanisms of glia-neuron crosstalk;
- Novel in vivo and in vitro models to study Myelination, Demyelination, and Remyelination
- Generation of new animal models to study astro-/oligodendro-glial physiology and pathophysiology;
- Non-invasive brain stimulation approaches to promote myelination and astroglia responses relevant to psychiatric diseases


Keywords: Astrocyte, Oligodendrocyte, NG2 cells, methods, imaging


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

10 July 2020 Abstract
30 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

10 July 2020 Abstract
30 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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