Neuronal N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are well known for their pivotal role in memory formation. Originally, they were thought to be exclusive to neurons. However, numerous studies revealed their functional expression also on various types of glial cells in the nervous system. Here, the methodology how to study the physiology of NMDA receptors selectively on astrocytes will be described in detail. Astrocytes are the main class of neuroglia that control transmitter and ion homeostasis, which link cerebral blood flow and neuronal energy demands, but also affect synaptic transmission directly.
Keywords: Astrocyte; Ca2+ imaging; Cortex; GFAP-EGFP transgenic mice; Mouse; NMDA receptor; Neuron–glial interaction; Patch-clamp recording.