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Perisynaptic astroglial processes: dynamic processors of neuronal information

Authors
  • Ghézali, Grégory1, 2
  • Dallérac, Glenn1
  • Rouach, Nathalie1
  • 1 PSL Research University, Neuroglial Interactions in Cerebral Physiopathology, Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, CNRS UMR 7241, INSERM U1050, Labex Memolife, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 2 Pierre and Marie Curie University, Doctoral School N° 158, Paris, France , Paris (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Brain Structure and Function
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
May 31, 2015
Volume
221
Issue
5
Pages
2427–2442
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00429-015-1070-3
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Neuroglial interactions are now recognized as essential to brain functions. Extensive research has sought to understand the modalities of such dialog by focusing on astrocytes, the most abundant glial cell type of the central nervous system. Neuron–astrocyte exchanges occur at multiple levels, at different cellular locations. With regard to information processing, regulations occurring around synapses are of particular interest as synaptic networks are thought to underlie higher brain functions. Astrocytes morphology is tremendously complex in that their processes exceedingly branch out to eventually form multitudinous fine leaflets. The latter extremities have been shown to surround many synapses, forming perisynaptic astrocytic processes, which although recognized as essential to synaptic functioning, are poorly defined elements due to their tiny size. The current review sums up the current knowledge on their molecular and structural properties as well as the functional characteristics making them good candidates for information processing units.

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