Navigation Links
Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity
Date:10/12/2008

By mopping up excess neurotrophic factor from neuronal synapses, astrocytes may finely tune synaptic transmission to affect processes such as learning and memory, say Bergami et al.

The major cellular events of learning and memory are long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), both of which affect neurons' ability to communicate with one another. Neurons that have undergone LTP display a stronger electrical response to the same level of a stimulus, whereas neurons that have gone through LTD display a weaker response. These changes are thought to result from modifications of the neuronal synapses, such as alterations in the density of postsynaptic receptors, or downstream signaling events.

Secretion of the neurotrophic factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) has been implicated in long-term synaptic modification, and the function of BDNF on synaptic strength depends on its particular form: in its pro-BDNF form it is believed to promote LTD, and in its mature form it prompts LTP. Neurons were thought to secrete pro-BDNF, which then matured into BDNF in the synaptic space. However, a recent study suggests that only mature BDNF is secreted, pro-BDNF being processed intracellularly.

To get to the bottom of things, Bergami et al. investigated the fate of both forms after LTP induction in brain slices from the rat cortex. By fluorescent immunohistochemistry they showed that that neurons indeed secrete both mature and pro-BDNF, but that a large amount of the pro-BDNF is immediately taken up by astrocytes.

Astrocytes, previously thought to be unimportant in neuronal transmission, have recently been implicated in long-term modulation of neuronal synapses. For example, they release the neurotransmitter glutamate into the synapse prompting LTP. By specifically mopping up pro-BDNF, astrocytes seem to have another means to assist in LTP. However, while it's likely that most pro-BDNF gets degraded inside astrocytes, say the authors, some gets recycled and re-released, suggesting that astrocytes in fact fine-tune synaptic plasticity.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sati Motieram
motierd@mail.rockefeller.edu
212-327-8581
Rockefeller University Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Synaptics to Report First Quarter Results on October 23
2. Synaptics SecurePad(TM) Selected as CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Award Honoree
3. Reproductive plasticity revealed: Neotropical treefrog can choose to lay eggs in water or on land
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting has been solving the most ... biggest challenges faced by life sciences, biotech and pharmaceuticals companies today is in interpreting ... Abraham , who is well known in the industry and brings significant high-level expertise ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... management and analytics solutions, today announced that its Anzo Smart Data Lake® ... Semantic Technology Solution’ category for the 2017 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... Cybrexa ... Series B round of financing in the amount of $6 million. An investment ... participated in the round. , The Series B funding will enable Cybrexa to ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... DuPont Biofuels, will be speaking at Bloomberg’s 2017 Sustainable Business Summit: Seattle ... leading environmental and sustainability officials on a panel titled “Developing a Corporate Renewables ...
Breaking Biology Technology: