Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Astrocytes at Single Synapses

Science's STKE  28 Aug 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 401, pp. tw313
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4012007tw313

Astrocytes respond to synaptic activity and can release different gliotransmitters, which modulate neuronal activity and neurotransmission. Perea and Araque examined the role of astrocytes on synaptic transmission at single hippocampal excitatory synapses. Ca2+ elevation in astrocytes led to a transient release of the neurotransmitter glutamate from astrocytes, which was mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors. Potentiation became long-lasting when glial activation was paired with postsynaptic depolarization.

G. Perea, A. Araque, Astrocytes potentiate transmitter release at single hippocampal synapses. Science 317, 1083-1086 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]