Although neuron-glia crosstalk has been studied extensively in the past, it has not been clear that the signaling mediating this crosstalk exhibits any activity-dependent plasticity, such as the phenomenon of long-term potentiation (LTP) that is thought to represent the electrophysiological representation of memory. Ge et al. now report that neuronal signaling to NG2 glial cells in hippocampal slices exhibits LTP-like plasticity. The NG2 cell response is mediated by AMPA receptors and undergoes LTP after theta burst stimulation. LTP induction depends on postsynaptic Ca2+ and glutamate receptors, but not on NMDA receptors, and can be blocked by philanthotoxin, suggesting an involvement of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors.
W.-P. Ge, X.-J. Yang, Z. Zhang, H.-K. Wang, W. Shen, Q.-D. Deng, S. Duan, Long-term potentiation of neuron-glia synapses mediated by Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors. Science 312, 1533-1537 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]