Astrocytes: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system - the largest and most numerous neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes (from "star" cells) are irregularly shaped with many long processes, including those with "end feet" which form the glial (limiting) membrane and directly and indirectly contribute to the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER. They regulate the extracellular ionic and chemical environment, and "reactive astrocytes" (along with MICROGLIA) respond to injury.Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Gliosis: The production of a dense fibrous network of neuroglia; includes astrocytosis, which is a proliferation of astrocytes in the area of a degenerative lesion.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Oligodendroglia: A class of large neuroglial (macroglial) cells in the central nervous system. Oligodendroglia may be called interfascicular, perivascular, or perineuronal (not the same as SATELLITE CELLS, PERINEURONAL of GANGLIA) according to their location. They form the insulating MYELIN SHEATH of axons in the central nervous system.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2: A glutamate plasma membrane transporter protein found in ASTROCYTES and in the LIVER.Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.Glutamic Acid: A non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the L-form. Glutamic acid is the most common excitatory neurotransmitter in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Microglia: The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.Aquaporin 4: Aquaporin 4 is the major water-selective channel in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM of mammals.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 1: A glial type glutamate plasma membrane transporter protein found predominately in ASTROCYTES. It is also expressed in HEART and SKELETAL MUSCLE and in the PLACENTA.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit: A calcium-binding protein that is 92 AA long, contains 2 EF-hand domains, and is concentrated mainly in GLIAL CELLS. Elevation of S100B levels in brain tissue correlates with a role in neurological disorders.Coculture Techniques: A technique of culturing mixed cell types in vitro to allow their synergistic or antagonistic interactions, such as on CELL DIFFERENTIATION or APOPTOSIS. Coculture can be of different types of cells, tissues, or organs from normal or disease states.Cell Communication: Any of several ways in which living cells of an organism communicate with one another, whether by direct contact between cells or by means of chemical signals carried by neurotransmitter substances, hormones, and cyclic AMP.Mice, Inbred C57BLSpinal Cord: A cylindrical column of tissue that lies within the vertebral canal. It is composed of WHITE MATTER and GRAY MATTER.Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Nerve Tissue ProteinsOptic Nerve: The 2nd cranial nerve which conveys visual information from the RETINA to the brain. The nerve carries the axons of the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS which sort at the OPTIC CHIASM and continue via the OPTIC TRACTS to the brain. The largest projection is to the lateral geniculate nuclei; other targets include the SUPERIOR COLLICULI and the SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEI. Though known as the second cranial nerve, it is considered part of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Amino Acid Transport System X-AG: A family of POTASSIUM and SODIUM-dependent acidic amino acid transporters that demonstrate a high affinity for GLUTAMIC ACID and ASPARTIC ACID. Several variants of this system are found in neuronal tissue.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.Astrocytoma: Neoplasms of the brain and spinal cord derived from glial cells which vary from histologically benign forms to highly anaplastic and malignant tumors. Fibrillary astrocytomas are the most common type and may be classified in order of increasing malignancy (grades I through IV). In the first two decades of life, astrocytomas tend to originate in the cerebellar hemispheres; in adults, they most frequently arise in the cerebrum and frequently undergo malignant transformation. (From Devita et al., Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 5th ed, pp2013-7; Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1082)Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Gap Junctions: Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.Connexin 43: A 43-kDa peptide which is a member of the connexin family of gap junction proteins. Connexin 43 is a product of a gene in the alpha class of connexin genes (the alpha-1 gene). It was first isolated from mammalian heart, but is widespread in the body including the brain.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.S100 Proteins: A family of highly acidic calcium-binding proteins found in large concentration in the brain and believed to be glial in origin. They are also found in other organs in the body. They have in common the EF-hand motif (EF HAND MOTIFS) found on a number of calcium binding proteins. The name of this family derives from the property of being soluble in a 100% saturated ammonium sulfate solution.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Culture Media, Conditioned: Culture media containing biologically active components obtained from previously cultured cells or tissues that have released into the media substances affecting certain cell functions (e.g., growth, lysis).Neural Stem Cells: Self-renewing cells that generate the main phenotypes of the nervous system in both the embryo and adult. Neural stem cells are precursors to both NEURONS and NEUROGLIA.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Stem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.Blood-Brain Barrier: Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined ENDOTHELIAL CELLS with TIGHT JUNCTIONS that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the BRAIN tissue.Glioma: Benign and malignant central nervous system neoplasms derived from glial cells (i.e., astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymocytes). Astrocytes may give rise to astrocytomas (ASTROCYTOMA) or glioblastoma multiforme (see GLIOBLASTOMA). Oligodendrocytes give rise to oligodendrogliomas (OLIGODENDROGLIOMA) and ependymocytes may undergo transformation to become EPENDYMOMA; CHOROID PLEXUS NEOPLASMS; or colloid cysts of the third ventricle. (From Escourolle et al., Manual of Basic Neuropathology, 2nd ed, p21)Up-Regulation: A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Cerebellum: The part of brain that lies behind the BRAIN STEM in the posterior base of skull (CRANIAL FOSSA, POSTERIOR). It is also known as the "little brain" with convolutions similar to those of CEREBRAL CORTEX, inner white matter, and deep cerebellar nuclei. Its function is to coordinate voluntary movements, maintain balance, and learn motor skills.Vimentin: An intermediate filament protein found in most differentiating cells, in cells grown in tissue culture, and in certain fully differentiated cells. Its insolubility suggests that it serves a structural function in the cytoplasm. MW 52,000.Primary Cell Culture: The initial culturing of cells derived directly from fresh TISSUES.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.