Molecular mechanisms of astrocyte-induced synaptogenesis

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2017 Aug;45:113-120. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.05.006. Epub 2017 May 29.


Astrocytes are morphologically complex cells that perform a wide variety of critical functions in the brain. As a structurally and functionally integrated component of the synapse, astrocytes secrete proteins, lipids, and small molecules that bind neuronal receptors to promote synaptogenesis and regulate synaptic connectivity. Additionally, astrocytes are key players in circuit formation, instructing the formation of synapses between distinct classes of neurons. This review highlights recent publications on the topic of astrocyte-mediated synaptogenesis, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms through which astrocytes orchestrate the formation of synaptic circuits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Synapses / genetics
  • Synapses / physiology*