The astrocytic cell responses to injury have been extensively studied in a variety of experimental models, and the term “astrogliosis” is often used to describe the astrocyte reactions to injury. Cells responding in these ways to injury are often referred to as “reactive astrocytes.” Glial scarring appears to be a critical feature of wound healing in the central nervous system (CNS), since elimination of the mitotically active contingent of reactive astrocytes leads to increase in the size of the wound. Reactive astrogliosis is a term coined for the morphological and functional events seen in astrocytes responding to CNS injury. The concept of reactive astrogliosis and its molecular and cellular definition in spinal cord injury (SCI) is still incomplete. Producing several inhibitory molecules discourages regeneration of axons in the injured spinal cord. This inhibition is compounded by the poor regenerative ability of most CNS axons. This is probably a more achievable therapeutic target than axon regeneration, and an effective treatment would be of assistance to the majority of patients with partial cord injuries. Of course, understanding about astrogliosis and producing mediators and inhibitory molecules such as signaling pathways help us to develop new treatment strategies for SCI.
Part of the book: Spinal Cord Injury Therapy