astrocytes

Two studies yield different information about the role astrocytes — cells that normally protect motor neurons — play in the ALS disease process

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2013 - 11:43, By: Amy Madsen
Scientists continue to work at uncovering the biological mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). One area of intense study involves the potential role of central nervous system support cells called astrocytes. 

A subtype of astrocytes — cells that normally protect motor neurons — causes 'unprecedented toxicity' to motor neurons in a rat model of familial ALS

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 05:00, By: Amy Madsen
A multinational team of scientists has identified a specific type of astrocyte that behaves abnormally, causing degeneration and death in motor neurons in rats with a disease resembling familial SOD1-related ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). The astrocyctes have been...

Astrocytes carrying mutated SOD1 genes transplanted into the spinal cords of healthy rats caused deterioration and death of nearby motor neurons

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 - 05:00, By: Amy Madsen
An MDA-supported team of scientists has demonstrated in rats that nervous system support cells called astrocytes carrying an SOD1 mutation cause neighboring motor neurons to deteriorate and die. The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that the star-shaped cells play a key role in the motor...

The combined effects of astrocytes and SOD1 protein appear to be toxic to motor neurons in models of both inherited and sporadic ALS

Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 17:11, By: Amy Madsen
Astrocytes — cells that normally support and protect nerve cells — have been found to cause motor neuron degeneration in newly created human cellular models of both inherited and noninherited ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Scientists tied the astrocytes' effects, in...

When ALS-affected nerve cells lose function, their closest neighbors can't protect them

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2009 - 14:30, By: Margaret Wahl
A vicious cycle in which damage to nerve cells (neurons) in the spinal cord results in the loss of an important mechanism to protect neurons, causing more neuron loss, has been identified as a possible contributor to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Identification of this pathway opens the...
Posted on Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 13:47, By: Margaret Wahl
Some studies suggest that motor neurons, even when healthy, can be killed by toxic neighbors. If so, converting these “sharks” to “dolphins” might slow the pace of ALS.

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