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Astrocytes, spontaneity, and the developing thalamus

Parri, Rheinallt and Crunelli, Vincenzo 2002. Astrocytes, spontaneity, and the developing thalamus. Journal of Physiology - Paris: An International Review Journal for the Neurosciences 96 (3-4) , pp. 221-230. 10.1016/S0928-4257(02)00009-8

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Abstract

Recent studies in the ventrobasal (VB) thalamus have shown that astrocytes display spontaneous intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i oscillations early postnatally. [Ca2+]ioscillations are correlated in groups of up to five astrocytes, and propagate between cells. NMDA receptor-mediated, long lasting inward currents in thalamocortical (TC) neurons of the VB complex are correlated to [Ca2+]iincreases in neighbouring astrocytes, and stimulation of astrocytic [Ca2+]iincreases also lead to inward currents in neurons. These findings suggest that astrocytes are spontaneously active and can induce neuronal activity, a reversal of the previously held view of neuron–glia interactions in the central nervous system. This activity occurs at an important period in the development of the thalamus and therefore suggests a potential functional role in a variety of processes. Along with data on the neurotransmitter receptor repertoire of thalamic astrocytes these findings enlarge the body of knowledge on astrocytes in the thalamus, and further contribute to the emerging field of astrocyte–neuron and neuron–astrocyte interactions in the central nervous system.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0928-4257
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/61099

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