Crucial Cerebellar Glial Cells

Science Signaling  14 Aug 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 237, pp. ec217
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003500

The role of glial cells and their interaction with neurons in normal behavior is unclear. To address this question, Saab et al. studied a special type of glial cell in the cerebellum. Conditional mutant mice were produced in which the two glutamate receptor subunits normally present in Bergmann glial cells were efficiently ablated in a temporally controlled manner. Glutamate signaling of the glial cells contributed to the structural and functional integrity of the cerebellar network. Bergmann glial cells also played a role in the “fine-tuning” of neuronal processing, which is crucial for the fast and precise control of complex motor behavior.

A. S. Saab, A. Neumeyer, H. M. Jahn, A. Cupido, A. A. M. Šimek, H.-J. Boele, A. Scheller, K. Le Meur, M. Götz, H. Monyer, R. Sprengel, M. E. Rubio, J. W. Deitmer, C. I. De Zeeuw, F. Kirchhoff, Bergmann glial AMPA receptors are required for fine motor coordination. Science 337, 749–753 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]