Title : Astrocytes as the pivotal damage---management and repair cells after focal injury in the CNS
Astrocytes have a critical role in ensuring optimal brain functions,from supporting neuronal metabolism and survival to maintenance of blood?brain barrier. However, it took along time to recognize the central role of astrocytes in response to diverse types of CNS damage, such as traumatic brain injury or neurodegenerative diseases.Due to the multiple roles of astrocytes in such context, I will discuss some aspects of region-? and pathology specific reactivity of astroglial cells: in particular I will focus on the subset of reactive astrocytes that acquire proliferative capacity and stem cell potential in the injured brain. This leads to examine our current knowledge on the role of injury-?induced astrocytes proliferation in regulating inflammation and restoration of blood-? brain barrier, as well as their impact on the area adjacent to the damage site, and on scar formation. The last part of my talk will consider how astrocyte plasticity changes during the aging process and how this affects the severity of tissue damage as well as post-?traumatic structural and functional recovery.