Ion channel expression by white matter glia: the type-1 astrocyte

Neuron. 1990 Oct;5(4):527-44. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(90)90091-s.


We describe the electrophysiological properties of acutely isolated type-1 astrocytes using a new "tissue print" dissociation procedure. Because the enzymes used did not destroy or modify the ion channels, and the cells retained many processes, the properties may reflect those in vivo. The types of ion channels in type-1 astrocytes changed rapidly during the first 10 postnatal days, when they attained their adult phenotype. This change was dependent on the presence of neurons. In culture, most of these channel types were not expressed, but a phenotype more typical of that in vivo could be induced by co-culture with neurons. The electrophysiological properties of astrocytes make some existing hypotheses of astrocyte function less likely.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Astrocytes / physiology
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Denervation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Glutamates / pharmacology
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Potassium / physiology


  • Glutamates
  • Ion Channels
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Potassium
  • Calcium