As a general rule a rise in pH increases neuronal activity, whereas it is dampened by a fall of pH. Neuronal activity per se also challenges pH homeostasis by the increase of metabolic acid equivalents. Moreover, the negative membrane potential of neurons promotes the intracellular accumulation of protons. Synaptic key players such as glutamate receptors or voltage-gated calcium channels show strong pH dependence and effects of pH gradients on synaptic processes are well known. However, the processes and mechanisms that allow controlling the pH in synaptic structures and how these mechanisms contribute to normal synaptic function are only beginning to be resolved.
Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.