Article: article from journal or magazin.
Review (review): journal as complete as possible of one specific subject, written based on exhaustive analyses from published work.
Synaptic modulation by astrocytes via Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate release
Journal article --- Old month value: Mar 22 --- Old uritopublisher value: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=18455880
In the past 15 years the classical view that astrocytes play a relatively passive role in brain function has been overturned and it has become increasingly clear that signaling between neurons and astrocytes may play a crucial role in the information processing that the brain carries out. This new view stems from two seminal observations made in the early 1990s: 1. astrocytes respond to neurotransmitters released during synaptic activity with elevation of their intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)); 2. astrocytes release chemical transmitters, including glutamate, in response to [Ca(2+)](i) elevations. The simultaneous recognition that astrocytes sense neuronal activity and release neuroactive agents has been instrumental for understanding previously unknown roles of these cells in the control of synapse formation, function and plasticity. These findings open a conceptual revolution, leading to rethink how brain communication works, as they imply that information travels (and is processed) not just in the neuronal circuitry but in an expanded neuron-glia network. In this review we critically discuss the available information concerning: 1. the characteristics of the astrocytic Ca(2+) responses to synaptic activity; 2. the basis of Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate exocytosis from astrocytes; 3. the modes of action of astrocytic glutamate on synaptic function.
glia, gliotransmitters, neuron-astrocyte interactions, synaptic transmission, glutamate exocytosis, calcium signaling
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