Functions of the Neuroglia 1 Physical Support

We have noted the physical support afforded PNS nerve fibers by Schwann cells. In the adult CNS, astrocytes form an elaborate framework in which the neurons and their processes are deployed in an intricate, regionally distinctive way. Astrocytes have a robust cytoskeleton dominated by GFAP intermediate filaments, with many actin filaments and micro-tubules. They are ideal candidates for structural support. Similarly, radial glia in the embryonic neural tube support and maintain the patency of its lumen.

Fluid pressure therein is crucial to normal forebrain development. Astrocytes derived from the radial glia may serve a similar function for the ventricles of the adult brain.

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