Abnormal mitosis in reactive astrocytes

Alexander Sosunov, Xiaoping Wu, Robert McGovern, Charles Mikell, Guy M. McKhann, James E. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although abnormal mitosis with disarranged metaphase chromosomes or many micronuclei in astrocytes (named "Alzheimer I type astrocytes" and later "Creutzfeldt-Peters cells") have been known for nearly 100 years, the origin and mechanisms of this pathology remain elusive. In experimental brain insults in rats, we show that abnormal mitoses that are not followed by cytokinesis are typical for reactive astrocytes. The pathology originates due to the inability of the cells to form normal mitotic spindles with subsequent metaphase chromosome congression, which, in turn may be due to shape constraints aggravated by cellular enlargement and to the accumulation of large amounts of cytosolic proteins. Many astrocytes escape from arrested mitosis by producing micronuclei. These polyploid astrocytes can survive for long periods of time and enter into new cell cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalActa Neuropathologica Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by K08-NS048064 (GM) and a Klingenstein Foundation Fellowship (GM).

Funding Information:
Image processing and analysis for this work was performed in the Confocal and Specialized Microscopy Shared Resource of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University, supported by NIH grant #P30 CA013696 (National Cancer Institute).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Astrocytes
  • Creutzfeldt-Peters cells
  • Mitosis
  • Mitotic spindles
  • Polyploidy


Dive into the research topics of 'Abnormal mitosis in reactive astrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this