Carmignoto: Istituto CNR di Neuroscienze and Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche Sperimentali, Università di Padova, Viale G. Colombo 3, Padova 35121, Italy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New vistas on astroglia in convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy highlight novel astrocytic targets for treatment
Article first published online: 14 FEB 2013
© 2013 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2013 The Physiological Society
The Journal of Physiology
Volume 591, Issue 4, pages 775–785, February 2013
How to Cite
Crunelli, V. and Carmignoto, G. (2013), New vistas on astroglia in convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy highlight novel astrocytic targets for treatment. The Journal of Physiology, 591: 775–785. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2012.243378
The report was presented at the symposium Why do some brains seize? Molecular, cellular and network mechanisms, which took place at the Epilepsy Research UK Expert International Workshop, Oxford, UK on 15–16 March 2012.
- Issue published online: 14 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 14 FEB 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 DEC 2012 12:00AM EST
- (Received 21 August 2012; accepted after revision 6 December 2012; first published online 10 December 2012)
Abstract Our current knowledge of the role of astrocytes in health and disease states supports the view that many physiological brain functions and neurological diseases are finely tuned, and in certain cases fully determined, by the continuous cross-talk between astrocytes and neurons. This novel way of interpreting brain activity as a dynamic and reciprocal interplay between astrocytic and neuronal networks has also influenced our understanding of epilepsy, not only forcing a reinterpretation of old findings, but also being a catalyst for novel experimentation. In this review, we summarize some of the recent studies that highlight these novel distinct contributions of astrocytes to the expression of convulsive and non-convulsive epileptiform discharges and seizures. The emerging picture suggests a general framework based on bilateral signalling between astrocytes and neurons for a fuller understanding of epileptogenic and epileptic mechanisms in the brain network. Astrocytes potentially represent targets for the development of those novel chemical entities with improved efficacy for the treatment of convulsive and non-convulsive epilepsy that expert groups have recognized as one of the key priorities for the management of epilepsy.