- One of the large neuroglia cells of nervous tissue. SEE ALSO: neuroglia. SYN: astroglia cell, astroglia, Cajal cell (2), Deiters cells (2), macroglia cell, macroglia, spider cell (1). [G. astron, star, + kytos, hollow (cell)]- Alzheimer type I a. enlarged frequently multinucleated astrocytes, seen in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.- Alzheimer type II a. enlarged astrocytes with vesicular nuclei and one or more small basophilic nucleoli, seen in hepatocerebral disease and Wilson disease.- fibrillary a., fibrous a. stellate astrocytic cell with long processes found mainly in the white matter of the brain and spinal cord and characterized by having bundles of glial filaments in its cytoplasm; origin of most astrocytomas.- gemistocytic a. a round to oval a. cell with abundant cytoplasm containing glial filaments and an eccentric nucleus; may contain two nuclei in the cell; hypertrophy of astrocytes. SYN: gemistocyte, gemistocytic cell, reactive a., reactive cell.- protoplasmic a. one form of a., found mainly in gray matter, having few fibrils and numerous branching processes.- reactive a. SYN: gemistocytic a..
* * *as·tro·cyt·ic .as-trə-'sit-ik adj
* * *n.a type of cell with numerous sheet-like processes extending from its cell body, found throughout the central nervous system. It is one of the several different types of cell that make up the glia. The cells have been ascribed the function of providing nutrients for neurones and possibly of taking part in information storage processes.
* * *as·tro·cyte (asґtro-sīt) [astro- + -cyte] a neuroglial cell of ectodermal origin, characterized by fibrous, protoplasmic, or plasmatofibrous processes. Collectively, such cells are called astroglia.
Astrocytes with well-developed processes demonstrated by immunohistochemical staining for glial fibrillary acidic protein (brown).
Medical dictionary. 2011.