Novel Insights Into Gliotransmitters

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2016 Feb;26:138-45. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2015.11.010. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


It is becoming increasingly clear that astrocytes play an active role in neural communications by releasing neuro-active gliotransmitters into extra-cellular spaces, where they act on neighbouring neurons in order to modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity, and affect behaviour. However, in terms of cell biology, our knowledge of the mechanisms governing the secretion of gliotransmitters is so much less detailed than our knowledge of those governing neurotransmitters that it has even been questioned whether astrocytes are capable of secreting molecules. This review critically evaluates the currently available findings concerning gliotransmitters with the aim of stimulating discussion in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents