Optogenetic experimentation on astrocytes


Corresponding author S. Kasparov: School of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.  Email: sergey.kasparov@bristol.ac.uk


We briefly review the current literature where optogenetics has been used to study various aspects of astrocyte physiology in vitro and in vivo. This includes both genetically engineered Ca2+ sensors and effector proteins, such as channelrhodopsin. We demonstrate how the ability to target astrocytes with cell-specific viral vectors to express optogenetic constructs helped to unravel some previously unsuspected roles of these inconspicuous cells.