The central nervous system contains two major cell populations, neurons and glial cells. The neurons are regarded as the elements mediating the electrical activity in the brain. As a consequence, neuroscience research of the past has focused on this cell type.

The functional role of glial cells is not as obvious: while they were first described as cells providing only structural support to neurons, a series of more recent studies on glial cell function has attracted the attention of the neuroscience community. It has become evident that glial cells are essential for the proper functioning of the brain.

Kettenmann Lab | Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

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