Communication between neurons and astrocytes: relevance to the modulation of synaptic and network activity
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2008 International Society for Neurochemistry
Journal of Neurochemistry
Volume 108, Issue 3, pages 533–544, February 2009
How to Cite
Fellin, T. (2009), Communication between neurons and astrocytes: relevance to the modulation of synaptic and network activity. Journal of Neurochemistry, 108: 533–544. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05830.x
- Issue published online: 9 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2008
- Received September 16, 2008; revised manuscript received October 28, 2008; accepted November 20, 2008.
- Ca2+ signaling;
- synaptic plasticity;
- synaptic transmission
Neuromodulation is a fundamental process in the brain that regulates synaptic transmission, neuronal network activity and behavior. Emerging evidence demonstrates that astrocytes, a major population of glial cells in the brain, play previously unrecognized functions in neuronal modulation. Astrocytes can detect the level of neuronal activity and release chemical transmitters to influence neuronal function. For example, recent findings show that astrocytes play crucial roles in the control of Hebbian plasticity, the regulation of neuronal excitability and the induction of homeostatic plasticity. This review discusses the importance of astrocyte-to-neuron signaling in different aspects of neuronal function from the activity of single synapses to that of neuronal networks.