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Vol 80, No 4 (2021)
Review article
Submitted: 2021-09-27
Accepted: 2021-09-29
Published online: 2021-10-21
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Neuroglia — development and role in physiological and pathophysiological processes

M. Cichorek1, P. Kowiański2, G. Lietzau2, J. Lasek1, J. Moryś3
·
Pubmed: 34699052
·
Folia Morphol 2021;80(4):766-775.
Affiliations
  1. Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Pomeranian University of Słupsk, Poland
  2. Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
  3. Department of Normal Anatomy, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland

open access

Vol 80, No 4 (2021)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Submitted: 2021-09-27
Accepted: 2021-09-29
Published online: 2021-10-21

Abstract

The dynamic development of studies on neuroglia in recent years indicates its previously underestimated role in maintaining proper brain function, both in physiological and pathological conditions. The use of modern research methods such as single-cell techniques as well as in vivo and in vitro models enriched the state of our knowledge. The most important issues regarding the maturation and development of neuroglia include cooperation between glial cell groups and with neurons in neurogenesis, neuroregeneration, (re)myelination and how the early developmental roles of glia contribute to nervous system dysfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.
There is still growing evidence emphasizing the importance of astroglia in maintaining the brain physiological homeostasis, regulation of immune response, cerebral blood flow, and involvement in the reactive neurogliosis, precisely adapted to the nature of pathological stimulus and the depth of tissue damage. The important issues related to the function of oligodendrocytes include explanation of the mechanisms of interaction between the glial cells and myelinated axons, important not only in myelination, but also in development of cognitive processes and memory. Further studies are required for understanding the mechanisms of demyelination occurring in several central nervous system (CNS) diseases. An interesting area of research is related with explanation of the NG2 glia function, characterised by significant proliferative potential and ability to differentiate in both in physiological conditions and in pathology, as well as the presence of synaptic neural-glial connections, which are especially numerous during development. The increasing knowledge of microglia comprises the presence of specialised subsets of microglia, their role the myelination process and neurovascular unit functioning. We are only beginning to understand how microglia enter the brain and develop distinct functional states during ontogeny.
This review summarises the current state of knowledge on the development and role in the CNS of different, heterogeneous cell populations defined by a common term neuroglia.

Abstract

The dynamic development of studies on neuroglia in recent years indicates its previously underestimated role in maintaining proper brain function, both in physiological and pathological conditions. The use of modern research methods such as single-cell techniques as well as in vivo and in vitro models enriched the state of our knowledge. The most important issues regarding the maturation and development of neuroglia include cooperation between glial cell groups and with neurons in neurogenesis, neuroregeneration, (re)myelination and how the early developmental roles of glia contribute to nervous system dysfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.
There is still growing evidence emphasizing the importance of astroglia in maintaining the brain physiological homeostasis, regulation of immune response, cerebral blood flow, and involvement in the reactive neurogliosis, precisely adapted to the nature of pathological stimulus and the depth of tissue damage. The important issues related to the function of oligodendrocytes include explanation of the mechanisms of interaction between the glial cells and myelinated axons, important not only in myelination, but also in development of cognitive processes and memory. Further studies are required for understanding the mechanisms of demyelination occurring in several central nervous system (CNS) diseases. An interesting area of research is related with explanation of the NG2 glia function, characterised by significant proliferative potential and ability to differentiate in both in physiological conditions and in pathology, as well as the presence of synaptic neural-glial connections, which are especially numerous during development. The increasing knowledge of microglia comprises the presence of specialised subsets of microglia, their role the myelination process and neurovascular unit functioning. We are only beginning to understand how microglia enter the brain and develop distinct functional states during ontogeny.
This review summarises the current state of knowledge on the development and role in the CNS of different, heterogeneous cell populations defined by a common term neuroglia.

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Keywords

astrocytes, microglia, NG2 cells, neurovascular unit, oligodendrocytes

About this article
Title

Neuroglia — development and role in physiological and pathophysiological processes

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 80, No 4 (2021)

Article type

Review article

Pages

766-775

Published online

2021-10-21

Page views

7420

Article views/downloads

1482

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2021.0109

Pubmed

34699052

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2021;80(4):766-775.

Keywords

astrocytes
microglia
NG2 cells
neurovascular unit
oligodendrocytes

Authors

M. Cichorek
P. Kowiański
G. Lietzau
J. Lasek
J. Moryś

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