About this Research Topic
Glia represent a major population of cells in the nervous system, yet their multiple functions remain to be fully revealed. Whereas neurons possess excitability and are critical for information processing, glial cells assume full responsibility for homeostasis and defense of the CNS. Different types of glial cells have been implicated in normal and pathological brain function. Astrocytes tile the grey matter and enwrap synapses; they are critical for ion and neurotransmitter homeostasis, they regulate synaptogenesis and are the secretory cells of the CNS. Microglia control removal of apoptotic neurones and participate in shaping synaptic connectivity in the developing brain; they undergo activation in pathology and contribute to neuroinflammation. Oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells myelinate axons thus shaping the connectome. The vital glial functions, and glial interaction with neurons, define the operation of the brain in health and disease.
Over the past decades, considerable progress was achieved in understanding the role of glial cells in the progression of neural pathologies, including neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegeneration, and demyelinating pathologies. Dysfunction in glial cells associates with a variety of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, glioblastoma, autism and psychiatric disorders. It is generally acknowledged that glial cells are critical elements in neuropathology; both glial atrophy with loss of function and glial reactivity contributing to pathological process.
The role of glia in health and disease has received a great deal of attention from Chinese scientists and become an important field of interest in Chinese research community. Rapidly growing efforts have been invested in studying both fundamental and clinical issues related to glia. To further facilitate interaction among Chinese glial scientists, and foster exchange of scientific ideas, this Research Topic aims at in-depth analysis of how different types of glia participate in the pathological mechanism of brain function and contribute to the onset or progression of pertaining diseases. We shall produce a broad assembly of papers (both original and reviews) covering all issues of glial physiopathology. Submissions from Chinese scientists are particularly encouraged.
Keywords: Glia, Synapse, Neurodegeneration, Vesicle, Plasticity
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