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Astrocytic purinergic signaling coordinates synaptic networks.

To investigate the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic transmission, we generated inducible transgenic mice that express a dominant-negative SNARE domain selectively in astrocytes to block the release of transmitters from these glial cells. By releasing adenosine triphosphate, which accumulates as adenosine, astrocytes tonically suppressed synaptic transmission, thereby enhancing the dynamic range for long-term potentiation and mediated activity-dependent, heterosynaptic depression. These results indicate that astrocytes are intricately linked in the regulation of synaptic strength and plasticity and provide a pathway for synaptic cross-talk.

Pubmed ID: 16210541


  • Pascual O
  • Casper KB
  • Kubera C
  • Zhang J
  • Revilla-Sanchez R
  • Sul JY
  • Takano H
  • Moss SJ
  • McCarthy K
  • Haydon PG


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

October 7, 2005

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Adenosine
  • Adenosine A1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Hippocampus
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Purinergic P1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Purinergic P2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptor, Adenosine A1
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Purinergic P1
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2
  • Synapses
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Xanthines