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Glial cell

Synonym(s)

  • glia
  • Kolliker's reticulum
  • nerve cement
  • neuroglia
  • neuroglial cells

Definition(s)

The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the blood-brain barrier and blood-retinal barrier, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.

Definition from: MeSH via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

A type of cell that surrounds nerve cells and holds them in place. Glial cells also insulate nerve cells from each other.

Definition from:  National Cancer Institute dictionaryThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: April 21, 2014