On the irregular, stellate shape of astrocytes

The processes of astrocytes extend into the interstices of the neuropil, often adopting quite complicated shapes. In the electron micrograph below, note the irregular profiles of the astrocytic processes (blue) in comparison to their smoother neuronal counterparts.

A three-dimensional reconstruction from a set of serial electron micrographs allows one to see the intricate structure of the astrocyte as it occupies a volume of space. Below is a reconstruction of about a quarter of an astrocyte's cell body and the processes extending out from it.