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Astrocytes have important role in the brain, for instance in controlling neurogenesis, blood-brain barrier permeability, neuroinflammation and maintaining homeostasis (1). Astrocytes are also very different depending on which area of the brain they are located.

Here we are presenting an easy overview of the available primary astrocytes and examples of research fields they could be applicable to.

Cortex astrocytes

Brain cortex is the outermost part of the brain and responsible for several high-level processes that include memory, language, emotion, learning, and decision making. Cortical astrocytes are interesting when studying ischemic stroke. Cerebral cortex is a common area for ischemic damage and astrocytes are known to be activated in ischemic conditions (2).

Rat brain cortex astrocytes R-CXAS-520

Human cortex highlighted

Hippocampus astrocytes

Hippocampus is a brain structure deep inside the temporal lobe that is responsible mostly for learning and memory. The area is strongly affected in diseases like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. (3) Hippocampal astrocytes are specifically suspected to be affected by chronic stress, whereas other astrocytes do not have the same response (4).

Rat brain hippocampus astrocytes R-HIAS-521

Human hippocampus highlighted

Striatum astrocytes

Striatum is a critical component of the forebrain responsible of motor and reward systems. The area is clinically significant for instance in Parkinson’s disease, addiction, and autism. Striatum astrocytes appear to have a different response to mitochondrial toxin when compared to cortical astrocytes (5).

Rat brain striatum astrocytes R-CPAS-522

Human striatum highlighted

Mixed astrocytes

For some applications it is also suitable to use astrocytes from the whole brain and have a mixed cell population. Mouse astrocytes are available from the whole brain and from different mouse strains.

Available from C57 (M-ASM-330), CD1 (M-ASM-430) and Cx-Hi-Cp (R-ASM-530) mice.

Human brain

BioNordika has a selection of astrocytes obtained from different locations of rodent brain and astrocyte growth medium available with or without supplements.

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(1) Siracusa R, Fusco R, Cuzzocrea S. Astrocytes: Role and Functions in Brain Pathologies. Front Pharmacol. 2019 Sep 27;10:1114. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.01114. PMID: 31611796; PMCID: PMC6777416.

(2) Kaneko Y, Lee JY, Tajiri N, Tuazon JP, Lippert T, Russo E, Yu SJ, Bonsack B, Corey S, Coats AB, Kingsbury C, Chase TN, Koga M, Borlongan CV. Translating intracarotid artery transplantation of bone marrow-derived NCS-01 cells for ischemic stroke: Behavioral and histological readouts and mechanistic insights into stem cell therapy. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2020 Feb;9(2):203-220. doi: 10.1002/sctm.19-0229. Epub 2019 Nov 18. PMID: 31738023; PMCID: PMC6988762.

(3) Anand KS, Dhikav V. Hippocampus in health and disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2012 Oct;15(4):239-46. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.104323. PMID: 23349586; PMCID: PMC3548359.

(4) Virmani G, D’almeida P, Nandi A, Marathe S. Subfield-specific effects of chronic mild unpredictable stress on hippocampal astrocytes. Eur J Neurosci. 2021 Sep;54(5):5730-5746. doi: 10.1111/ejn.15234. Epub 2021 May 6. PMID: 33866634.

(5) Saba J, López Couselo F, Turati J, Carniglia L, Durand D, de Laurentiis A, Lasaga M, Caruso C. Astrocytes from cortex and striatum show differential responses to mitochondrial toxin and BDNF: implications for protection of striatal neurons expressing mutant huntingtin. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Oct 6;17(1):290. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-01965-4. PMID: 33023623; PMCID: PMC7542133.