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Modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes in the rat supraoptic nucleus.

Abstract : One of the functions of astroglial cells in the central nervous system is to clear synaptically-released glutamate from the extracellular space. This is performed thanks to specific transporters of the excitatory amino acid expressed on their surface. The way by which astrocytic glutamate uptake contributes to synaptic transmission has been investigated via numerous experimental approaches but has never been addressed under conditions where neuroglial interactions are physiologically modified. Recently, we took advantage of the neuroglial plastic properties of the hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system to examine the consequences of a physiological reduction in the astrocytic coverage of neurons on glutamatergic synaptic transmission. This experimental model has brought some insights on the physiological interactions between glial cells and neurons at the level of the synapse. In particular, it has revealed that the degree of glial coverage of neurons influences glutamate concentration at the vicinity of excitatory synapses and, as a consequence, affects the level of activation of presynaptic glutamate receptors. Astrocytes, therefore, appear to contribute to the regulation of neuronal excitability by modulating synaptic efficacy at glutamatergic nerve terminals.
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Contributor : Stéphane Oliet <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 11:58:15 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 10:00:07 AM


  • HAL Id : inserm-00000068, version 1
  • PUBMED : 12445900



Richard Piet, Dominique Poulain, Stéphane Oliet. Modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes in the rat supraoptic nucleus.. Journal of Physiology - Paris, Elsevier, 2002, 96, pp.231-6. ⟨inserm-00000068⟩



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