Glial regulation of synapse maturation and stabilization in the developing nervous system

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2019 Feb;54:113-119. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.10.002. Epub 2018 Oct 19.


The dynamic interaction between neurons and glia is a fundamental aspect of developmental neurobiology. Astrocytic processes are extremely complex and can physically surround neuronal synapses where they are involved in regulating neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity. This review describes important roles glial cells play in synapse maturation and stabilization in the developing central nervous system. We highlight recent evidence showing that the motility of astrocytic and radial glial processes is modulated by neuronal signals and is important for normal synapse maturation and function. Examples of glia-derived molecules that influence synapse maturation and stabilization are presented. We close by touching on recent and future trends in neuron-glia research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Nervous System / cytology*
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*

Grant support