Scientific article
Open access

Astrocyte-synapse structural plasticity

Published inNeural plasticity, vol. 2014, 232105
Publication date2014

The function and efficacy of synaptic transmission are determined not only by the composition and activity of pre- and postsynaptic components but also by the environment in which a synapse is embedded. Glial cells constitute an important part of this environment and participate in several aspects of synaptic functions. Among the glial cell family, the roles played by astrocytes at the synaptic level are particularly important, ranging from the trophic support to the fine-tuning of transmission. Astrocytic structures are frequently observed in close association with glutamatergic synapses, providing a morphological entity for bidirectional interactions with synapses. Experimental evidence indicates that astrocytes sense neuronal activity by elevating their intracellular calcium in response to neurotransmitters and may communicate with neurons. The precise role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic properties, function, and plasticity remains however a subject of intense debate and many aspects of their interactions with neurons remain to be investigated. A particularly intriguing aspect is their ability to rapidly restructure their processes and modify their coverage of the synaptic elements. The present review summarizes some of these findings with a particular focus on the mechanisms driving this form of structural plasticity and its possible impact on synaptic structure and function.

Citation (ISO format)
BERNARDINELLI, Yann, MULLER, Dominique, NIKONENKO, Iryna. Astrocyte-synapse structural plasticity. In: Neural plasticity, 2014, vol. 2014, p. 232105. doi: 10.1155/2014/232105
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal1687-5443

Technical informations

Creation09/19/2014 11:24:00 AM
First validation09/19/2014 11:24:00 AM
Update time03/14/2023 10:14:14 PM
Status update03/14/2023 10:14:14 PM
Last indexation01/16/2024 2:22:09 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack