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Table 4 Individualized reactive astrocytes variants

From: Astrocytes reassessment - an evolving concept part one: embryology, biology, morphology and reactivity

Individualized reactive astrocytes variants Causes Morphology Particularities
Pilocytic astrocytes [23, 24] • In mild and moderate injuries as individual form of reactive astrocytes • Elongated, bipolar cell body These cells contain the Rosenthal fibers (specific but inconstant eosinophilic, cork-screw shaped elements), representing an advanced stage of cellular degeneration in astrocytoma
• Astrocytoma • Fusiform nuclei
• Thin and long hair-like GFAP+ processes
Gemistocytic astrocytes [23, 24] • In mild and moderate injuries as individual form of reactive astrocytes • Large, dilatated, oval cell body The organelles are numerous and located in the central zone of the cell body. The glial filaments are also numerous and peripherally arranged, beneath the plasmalemma
• In gemistocytic astrocytoma as a characteristic feature of this tumors [23] • Few thick cytoplasmic processes
  • Abundant, deeply eosinophilic cytoplasm
• Polymorphic nuclei, frequently eccentrical.
Alzheimer type I astrocytes [23, 24] • Progressive multifocal leuco-encephalopathy • Enlarged cell body  
• Numerous nuclei  
Alzheimer type II astrocytes [23, 24] • Associated with high blood ammonia in hepatic encephalopathy • Enlarged cell body Ammonia taken up by astrocytes is converted to osmotically active glutamine, resulting in astrocytic swelling
• In Wilson disease • Vesicular nuclei with one or more nucleoli