Astrocytes are a type of non-neuronal, glial cells, anatomically placed in the intersection between the brain blood vessels and other neural cells—including neurons. Such a strategic situation confers these cells a unique opportunity to sense circulating molecules and adapt according to different organismal conditions. By acting as sentinel cells, astrocytes thus co-ordinate gene expression profiles, immune responses, signal transduction pathways, and metabolic programs that play essential roles in the formation of brain circuits to modulate neurotransmission and higher-order organismal functions.

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