Integration of NG2-glia (synantocytes) into the neuroglial network

R. Wigley, Arthur Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NG2-glia are a distinct class of CNS glial cells that are generally classed as oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. However, in the adult CNS a large fraction of NG2 cells does not appear to divide or generate oligodendrocytes. The functions of these adult NG2-glia, which we have termed synantocytes, are unknown. NG2-glia (synantocytes) form interactive domains with astrocytes and neurons. Within their domains, NG2-glia and astrocytes contact the same neurons, form multiple heterologous contacts with each other, and contact pericytes which regulate cerebral blood flow. NG2-glia receive presynaptic input from neurons and respond to neurotransmitters released at synapses. In addition, NG2-glia are intimately associated with astroglia and respond to astroglial signals, a hitherto neglected aspect of NG2-glial cell physiology. The non-overlapping domain organisation of astrocytes is believed to be important in isolating and integrating activity at the synapses and blood vessels within their domains. The domains of NG2-glia overlap with astrocytes, suggesting they could play a role in integrating nonoverlapping astrocyte domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalNeuron Glia Biology
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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