Human cultured astrocytes. Astrocytes protect neurons from toxic buildup. Image: Bruno Pascal [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
Neurons dump their waste to astrocytes - brain short science news

Neurons that are highly active damage their lipids, which can become toxic. A new study found that these neurons secrete these toxic, damaged lipids, which are then being taken up and processed by astrocytes.

Astrocytes are helper cells in the brain, and channel the lipids from the neurons to their mitochondria to produce energy.

Most cells of the body direct damaged lipids to their mitochondria, but neurons are apparently unusual in this, and unload their toxic lipids to neighboring astrocytes.

Read the full story: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Janelia Research Campus)
Scientific publication: Cell