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Star power: the emerging role of astrocytes as neuronal partners during cortical plasticity

Authors
  • Wahis, Jérôme1, 2
  • Hennes, Maroussia1, 3
  • Arckens, Lutgarde3, 4
  • Holt, Matthew G1, 2, 4
  • 1 Laboratory of Glia Biology, VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain and Disease Research, Leuven, Belgium
  • 2 Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • 3 Laboratory of Neuroplasticity and Neuroproteomics, Department of Biology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  • 4 Leuven Brain Institute, Leuven, Belgium
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Publisher
Current Biology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
67
Pages
174–182
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2020.12.001
PMID: 33360483
PMCID: PMC8202513
Source
PubMed Central
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Plasticity is a fundamental property of neuronal circuits, allowing them to adapt to alterations in activation. Generally speaking, plasticity has been viewed from a ‘neuron-centric’ perspective, with changes in circuit function attributed to alterations in neuronal excitability, synaptic strength or neuronal connectivity. However, it is now clear that glial cells, in particular astrocytes, are key regulators of neuronal plasticity. This article reviews recent progress made in understanding astrocyte function and attempts to summarize these functions into a coherent framework that positions astrocytes as central players in the plasticity process.

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