Association between cell swelling and glycogen content in cultured astrocytes

Roy S. Dombro, Alex S. Bender, Michael D. Norenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Treatment of cultured rat astrocytes with hypotonic media or with 1 mM glutamate for 90 min caused cell swelling and a significant increase in glycogen content. Conversely, treatment with hypertonic media caused cell shrinkage with a corresponding decrease in astrocyte glycogen, which was proportional to the increasing osmolality of the hypertonic media. The glutamate receptor antagonist, MK-801, lowered both the glutamate-induced swelling and glycogen increase. These findings demonstrate a correlation between changes in cell volume and astrocyte glycogen content. This may explain the increased astrocytic glycogen observed in many neuropathological conditions where astrocyte swelling occurs. Because glycogen represents the largest energy reserve in the central nervous system, a swelling-induced disturbance in glycogen metabolism may lead to abnormal glial-neuronal interactions resulting in impaired brain bioenergetics. Copyright (C) 2000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jun 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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