In the ischemic brain, hypoxia leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, insufficient energy production, and astrocyte activation. Yet, most studies investigating mitochondrial dysfunction in cerebral ischemia have focused exclusively on neurons. This review highlights the importance of the morphological, molecular, and functional heterogeneity of astrocytes in their role in brain injuries and explore how activated astrocytes exhibit calcium imbalance, reactive oxygen species overproduction, and apoptosis. In addition, special focus is given to the role of the mitochondrial protein frataxin in activated astrocytes during ischemia and its putative role in the pharmacological management of cerebral ischemia.

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