Reactive astrocytosis, also known as astrogliosis, is an abnormal increase in the number of astrocytes caused by central nervous system (CNS) injury, traumatic brain injury, or neuronal destruction. Astrocytes are key reflectors of almost all forms of CNS damage and can interact with other cells to maintain homeostasis, protect living cells, clear cellular debris, and preserve neural function. However, reactive astrocytosis also has potential cytotoxic and inflammatory effects. Here at Creative Biolabs, we provide professional and reliable astrocytosis assays to help you explore the multiple roles of astrogliosis in neuroprotection and neuropathogenesis.
Astrocytes and Astrocytosis
Astrocytes, the most numerous glial cells in the CNS, sense neural activity and changes in the composition of the extracellular space. In addition to maintaining normal neural and brain activity, astrocytes respond to many forms of brain injury and produce heterogeneous and progressive changes in gene expression and function, which is known as reactive astrocytosis.
Fig 1. Astrocytes and astrocytosis in normal, moderately and severely injured states. (Li, et al., 2020)
Numerous studies have shown that astrocytosis is an essential early responder to brain injury, characterized by an increase in intermediate filamin, cellular hypertrophy, and a markedly abnormal increase in cell number. Among them, two intermediate filament proteins, vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), are considered as sensitive and early biomarkers of astrocytosis after neurotoxic injury. The expression of these two proteins indicated that these cells recapitulated the process of developmental migration.
Reactive astrocytosis can protect neurons and neural function after CNS injury, inhibit axonal regeneration, restore blood-brain barrier function, and remodel neuronal vascular units. Besides, astrocytosis also has neurotoxic potential to produce pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic cytokines, such as nitric oxide free radicals and TNF-α, which cause further damage to neuronal and glial cells. Nerve injury and astrogliosis can be constructed by lateral fluid shock injury, or induced by high-pressure culture or oxidative stress. Several methods could be utilized to detect astrogliosis. On the one hand, it can be directly detected by immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence, and on the other hand, inflammatory products and cellular secretions can be measured by immunoblotting. In addition, cell viability assays can also be used to qualitatively measure astrogliosis.
Fig 2. Cytoskeleton immunofluorescence staining of astrocytes. (Ghosh, et al., 2020)
Astrocytosis Assays Offered by Creative Biolabs
Astrocytosis represents a homotypic response to various CNS lesions and traumatic brain injury, and is a potential component of multiple diseases and neuropathologies. In addition to this, astrocytosis is also neuroprotective and injury-resilient. Creative Biolabs provide specialized astrocytosis assay service to help you challenge the physiological potential of neuro-brain function and disease, as well as to meet all your needs in neurological research. In addition to commonly used immunocytochemistry, fluorescence and immunoblotting tests, we also offer a range of animal models and astrocyte cell lines. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any demands.
- Li, X.; et al. Reactive astrogliosis: implications in spinal cord injury progression and therapy. Oxidative Medicine and, Cellular Longevity. 2020: 1-14.
- Ghosh, A.K.; et al. Differential activation of glioprotective intracellular signaling pathways in primary optic nerve head astrocytes after treatment with different classes of antioxidants. Antioxidants. 2020, 9: 324.