Brain edema is a severe clinical complication in a number of pathologies and is a major cause of increased morbidity and death. The swelling of astrocytes caused by a disruption of water and ion homeostasis, is the primary event contributing to the cytotoxic form of brain edema. Astrocyte cytotoxic swelling ultimately leads to transcapillary fluxes of ions and water into the brain parenchyma. This review focuses on the implication of transporters and channels in cytotoxic astrocyte swelling in hyponatremia, ischemia, trauma and hepatic encephalopathy. Emphasis is put on some salient features of the astrocyte physiology, all related to cell swelling, i.e. predominance of aquaporins, control of K(+) homeostasis and ammonia accumulation during the brain ammonia-detoxifying process.
Última actualización: 21/10/2016