Molecular basis of astrocyte diversity and morphology across the CNS in health and disease

Fumito Endo, Atsushi Kasai, Joselyn S. Soto, Xinzhu Yu, Zhe Qu, Hitoshi Hashimoto, Viviana Gradinaru, Riki Kawaguchi, Baljit S. Khakh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Astrocytes, a type of glia, are abundant and morphologically complex cells. Here, we report astrocyte molecular profiles, diversity, and morphology across the mouse central nervous system (CNS). We identified shared and region-specific astrocytic genes and functions and explored the cellular origins of their regional diversity. We identified gene networks correlated with astrocyte morphology, several of which unexpectedly contained Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk genes. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated reduction of candidate genes reduced astrocyte morphological complexity and resulted in cognitive deficits. The same genes were down-regulated in human AD, in an AD mouse model that displayed reduced astrocyte morphology, and in other human brain disorders. We thus provide comprehensive molecular data on astrocyte diversity and mechanisms across the CNS and on the molecular basis of astrocyte morphology in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadc9020
Issue number6619
StatePublished - Nov 4 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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