Bidirectional Astrocyte–Neuron Communication: The Many Roles of Glutamate and ATP

  1. Derek J. Chadwick Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Tommaso Fellin,
  2. Jai-Yoon Sul,
  3. Marcello D'ascenzo,
  4. Hajime Takano,
  5. Olivier Pascual and
  6. Philip G. Haydon

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch16

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

How to Cite

Fellin, T., Sul, J.-Y., D'ascenzo, M., Takano, H., Pascual, O. and Haydon, P. G. (2006) Bidirectional Astrocyte–Neuron Communication: The Many Roles of Glutamate and ATP, in Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276 (eds D. J. Chadwick and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch16

Author Information

  1. Silvio Conte Center for Integration at the Tripartite Synapse, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 215 Stemmler Hall, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA19104, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 21 APR 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470018606

Online ISBN: 9780470032244

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Keywords:

  • glutamatergic and purinergic signalling;
  • ATP- and glutamate–mediated glia-neuron signalling;
  • excitatory post-synaptic potential (EPSP);
  • purinergic receptor agonists;
  • Schaffer-collateral pathway high-frequency stimulation

Summary

Glutamatergic and purinergic signalling play key roles in synaptic transmission and modulation in the CNS. Here, we review recent evidence showing that glial cells, and in particular astrocytes, are active players in ATP and glutamate signalling in the brain. ATP and glutamate coordinately activate astrocytes, through the mobilization of their internal Ca2+, which in turn triggers the release from astrocytes of several neuroactive molecules including ATP and glutamate themselves. These ‘gliotransmitters’ signal either to astrocytes, where they generate Ca2+ waves, or to neurons, where they modulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. By using microfabricated lanes of adhesive substrate, we provide further evidence for a diffusible factor-mediated propagation of Ca2+ waves and, through flash photolysis experiments in hippocampal slices, we show that glutamate and ATP cooperate in the generation of the astrocytic Ca2+ signal. Once astrocytes are activated they provide both excitatory and inhibitory effects on neighbouring neurons. Through the Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate, which acts on extrasynaptic neuronal NMDA receptors, astrocytes excite neurons while, in contrast, ATP released from astrocytes, after the delayed conversion to adenosine, causes neuronal suppression.