Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2003 Oct;26(10):536-42.
doi: 10.1016/S0166-2236(03)00237-6.

New Roles for Astrocytes: Regulation of Synaptic Transmission


New Roles for Astrocytes: Regulation of Synaptic Transmission

Eric A Newman. Trends Neurosci. .


Abstract Although glia often envelop synapses, they have traditionally been viewed as passive participants in synaptic function. Recent evidence has demonstrated, however, that there is a dynamic two-way communication between glia and neurons at the synapse. Neurotransmitters released from presynaptic neurons evoke Ca2+ concentration increases in adjacent glia. Activated glia, in turn, release transmitters, including glutamate and ATP. These gliotransmitters feed back onto the presynaptic terminal either to enhance or to depress further release of neurotransmitter. Transmitters released from glia can also directly stimulate postsynaptic neurons, producing either excitatory or inhibitory responses. Based on these new findings, glia should be considered an active partner at the synapse, dynamically regulating synaptic transmission.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 149 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources