Review and Hypothesis: A Potential Common Link Between Glial Cells, Calcium Changes, Modulation of Synaptic Transmission, Spreading Depression, Migraine, and Epilepsy-H.

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Robert Paul MalchowMatthew A Kreitzer


There is significant evidence to support the notion that glial cells can modulate the strength of synaptic connections between nerve cells, and it has further been suggested that alterations in intracellular calcium are likely to play a key role in this process. However, the molecular mechanism(s) by which glial cells modulate neuronal signaling remains contentiously debated. Recent experiments have suggested that alterations in extracellular H+ efflux initiated by extracellular ATP may play a key role in the modulation of synaptic strength by radial glial cells in the retina and astrocytes throughout the brain. ATP-elicited alterations in H+ flux from radial glial cells were first detected from Müller cells enzymatically dissociated from the retina of tiger salamander using self-referencing H+-selective microelectrodes. The ATP-elicited alteration in H+ efflux was further found to be highly evolutionarily conserved, extending to Müller cells isolated from species as diverse as lamprey, skate, rat, mouse, monkey and human. More recently, self-referencing H+-selective electrodes have been used to detect ATP-elicited alterations in H+ efflux around individual mammalian astrocytes from the cortex and hippocampus. Tied to increases...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Related Feeds


Astrocytes are glial cells that support the blood-brain barrier, facilitate neurotransmission, provide nutrients to neurons, and help repair damaged nervous tissues. Here is the latest research.