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Astrogliosis and single-cell transcriptomics

ESTIMATED READING TIME: 2 minutes

On 20th April, experts in the field published on Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience the paper Reactive astrogliosis in the era of single-cell transcriptomics. The study provides an overview of single-cell transcriptomic studies characterizing reactive astrocytes in various central nervous system diseases to facilitate the interpretation of new datasets and to improve the molecular understanding of reactive astrogliosis.

Abstract (from Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience)

Reactive astrogliosis is a reaction of astrocytes to disturbed homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS), accompanied by changes in astrocyte numbers, morphology, and function. Reactive astrocytes are important in the onset and progression of many neuropathologies, such as neurotrauma, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases. Single-cell transcriptomics has revealed remarkable heterogeneity of reactive astrocytes, indicating their multifaceted functions in a whole spectrum of neuropathologies, with important temporal and spatial resolution, both in the brain and in the spinal cord. Interestingly, transcriptomic signatures of reactive astrocytes partially overlap between neurological diseases, suggesting shared and unique gene expression patterns in response to individual neuropathologies. In the era of single-cell transcriptomics, the number of new datasets steeply increases, and they often benefit from comparisons and integration with previously published work. Here, we provide an overview of reactive astrocyte populations defined by single-cell or single-nucleus transcriptomics across multiple neuropathologies, attempting to facilitate the search for relevant reference points and to improve the interpretability of new datasets containing cells with signatures of reactive astrocytes.

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