Live imaging of astrocyte responses to acute injury reveals selective juxtavascular proliferation

Sophia Bardehle, Martin Krüger, Felix Buggenthin, Julia Schwausch, Jovica Ninkovic, Hans Clevers, Hugo J. Snippert, Fabian J. Theis, Melanie Meyer-Luehmann, Ingo Bechmann, Leda Dimou, Magdalena Götz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Citations (Scopus)


Astrocytes are thought to have important roles after brain injury, but their behavior has largely been inferred from postmortem analysis. To examine the mechanisms that recruit astrocytes to sites of injury, we used in vivo two-photon laser-scanning microscopy to follow the response of GFP-labeled astrocytes in the adult mouse cerebral cortex over several weeks after acute injury. Live imaging revealed a marked heterogeneity in the reaction of individual astrocytes, with one subset retaining their initial morphology, another directing their processes toward the lesion, and a distinct subset located at juxtavascular sites proliferating. Although no astrocytes actively migrated toward the injury site, selective proliferation of juxtavascular astrocytes was observed after the introduction of a lesion and was still the case, even though the extent was reduced, after astrocyte-specific deletion of the RhoGTPase Cdc42. Thus, astrocyte recruitment after injury relies solely on proliferation in a specific niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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