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Definition of «Glial cell»

Glial cell: A supportive cell in the central nervous system -- the brain and spinal cord. Glial cells do not conduct electrical impulses (as opposed to neurons, which do). The glial cells surround neurons and provide support for them and insulation between them. Glial cells are capable of extensive signaling in response to a diversity of stimuli. Bidirectional communication exists between glial cells and neurons, and between glial cells and vascular cells.

Glial cells are the most abundant cell types in the central nervous system. There are three types of glial cells: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. Astrocytes are concerned with neurotransmission and neuronal metabolism. Oligodendrocytes are involved in the production of myelin, the insulating material around neurons.. And microglia are part of the immune system.

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