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, s
'/>"/>

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

Page: 1 2

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:4/17/2014)... have hit on a novel method to help ... and most effective treatment possible., Kidney stones represent ... developing world. If left untreated, apart from being ... and other complications. In many patients treated successfully, ... more effective pathological approach to diagnosis and treatment ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... meeting painted a stark warning on the possible effects ... greenhouse effect 32 times that of carbon dioxide. Now ... substances act as fully regenerable electron acceptors which helps ... wetlands instead of being released to the atmosphere. However, ... it may enter into a vicious cycle to release ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... University researchers have detected new early-warning signs of the ... could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment ... 25 million Americans. , "We had not expected to ... early stages," said Ann Elsner, professor and associate dean ... of the study. "We set out to study the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Methane climate change risk suggested by proof of redox cycling of humic substances 2New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage 2New technique detects microscopic diabetes-related eye damage 3
... Gary Hoyle, PhD, professor, University of Louisville School of ... research to develop an effective medical treatment to counteract ... of terrorism. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ... have awarded Hoyle $2.6 million over five-years to further ...
... in the southeastern United States, and for scientists trying to ... ) is not cooperating. So far botanists have ... plant to boiling water, dry heat up to 284 degrees ... coax them into germination. Nothing has worked. "Complete ...
... and conservation successes in the face of rapid environmental ... plants adapt to local climate. To improve scientists, ... 7, 2011 issue of Science helps define ... The National Science Foundation partly funded the study, ...
Cached Biology News:UofL researcher awarded $2.6 million NIH grant renewal 2Super-tough seed coat keeps Michaux's sumac on critically endangered list 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... and SAN JOSE, California , January 15, ... developing antibody-drug conjugates for cancer, today announced the appointment of ... Dr Reynolds has over 20 years, development experience gained in ... Seattle Genetics. "I am delighted to welcome Tom ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... perspectives on nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. ... a path for biosimilar drug development, however the complex ... regards to quality, safety and efficacy extremely challenging. Based ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 More than 5 million Americans ... in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another ... figures have shocked many Americans into looking for ways ... these tragic age-related cognitive disorders. Jonathan Weisman, president of ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 The Microcompetition with Foreign DNA theory ... of these latent viruses is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), ... arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the ... that RA patients have high concentrations of EBV DNA in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2Biohack Pure Offers 5 Tips for Increasing Memory in 2014 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3
... April 12, 2011 Drs. Rodney Landreneau and ... non small cell lung cancer study at the 2011 Society ... Landreneau is Director of the Lung Center at UPMC Shady ... at UPMC Passavant Medical Center and Director of the Division ...
... 12, 2011 Biotech Medical, Inc. is set to ... SpectraSan™ "Hungry Enzymes". The products will be available for ... a Pet Stain & Odor Eraser, Spa & Whirlpool ... All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser, Glass & Stainless Steel Cleaner ...
... Dr. Fresh®, Inc., maker of the popular FireFly® children,s ... to raise awareness and funds for Smile Train, the ... company will donate $1 for every new "Like" on ... Smile Train.  The organization provides life-changing surgery for poor ...
Cached Biology Technology:Precision Therapeutics' ChemoFx® Demonstrates Significant Role in Selection of Chemotherapy Doublets in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer 2Biotech Medical, Inc. Introduces a Full Line of Enzyme Cleaners 2FireFly® Toothbrush Facebook Campaign Raises Funds for Smile Train 2