Glial cells: invertebrate

Coles, J. A. (2009) Glial cells: invertebrate. In: Squire, L. R. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Elsevier: Amsterdam, pp. 749-759. ISBN 9780080450469 (doi: 10.1016/B978-008045046-9.01011-1)

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Glia are cells that contact and invest neurons, and interact with them, but play at most an ancillary role in rapid electrical signaling. In jellyfish, nervous systems with up to several thousand neurons develop and function apparently without glial cells. However, as far as is known, glia are present in all species of Bilateria (Triploblastica). Glia are very prominent in mollusks, annelids, arthropods, and insects. Glia are roughly equal partners with neurons in the development of insect nervous systems, and many genes involved in their specification and function have been identified in Drosophila. Several major functions of glia were discovered in experimentally convenient invertebrate preparations. Glia contribute to ion homeostasis, energy metabolism, synaptic function and plasticity, and protection from oxidative damage in ways that closely parallel their behavior in mammals. Unlike glial cells in vertebrates, glial cells in invertebrates may form a blood–nerve barrier, and they do not make effective myelin sheaths.

Item Type:Book Sections (Encyclopaedia entry)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Coles, Dr Jonathan
Authors: Coles, J. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation

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