Article: article from journal or magazin.
Gliotransmitters travel in time and space.
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't ; Review Publication Status: ppublish
The identification of the presence of active signaling between astrocytes and neurons in a process termed gliotransmission has caused a paradigm shift in our thinking about brain function. However, we are still in the early days of the conceptualization of how astrocytes influence synapses, neurons, networks, and ultimately behavior. In this Perspective, our goal is to identify emerging principles governing gliotransmission and consider the specific properties of this process that endow the astrocyte with unique functions in brain signal integration. We develop and present hypotheses aimed at reconciling confounding reports and define open questions to provide a conceptual framework for future studies. We propose that astrocytes mainly signal through high-affinity slowly desensitizing receptors to modulate neurons and perform integration in spatiotemporal domains complementary to those of neurons.
Animals, Astrocytes/physiology, Cell Communication/physiology, Humans, Neuronal Plasticity/physiology, Neurons/physiology, Synapses/metabolism, Synaptic Transmission/physiology
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