Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astrocytes affect brain's information signaling, research finds

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the brain and play an important role in the function of neurons -- nerve cells. New research from Sweden shows that they are also directly involved in the regulation of signaling between neurons.

Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the brain and play an important role in the function of neurons -- nerve cells. New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that they are also directly involved in the regulation of signalling between neurons.

Related Articles


"Our results contribute to the insight that astrocytes can affect how the brain processes and stores information," says My Andersson, a researcher from the Department of Physiology at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology. "This means that astrocytes should be given more attention in future when looking for causes of diseases that affect signalling between neurons, such as epilepsy."

Besides neurons, the brain consists of a large number of astrocytes. These have previously been viewed primarily as the brain's housekeeping cells, whose roles include regulating blood flow in different parts of the brain. Previous research has also shown that astrocytes can respond to and communicate with neurons.

Our personality, thoughts and emotions are created by activity in different networks of nerve cells in the brain.

"This activity takes the form of electrical impulses which are transmitted between neurons via synapses," says Andersson. "In the synapses, transmitter substances are released, the most common being the amino acid glutamate, which helps to transfer signals from one neuron to another."

In studies of rats, the researchers were able to measure flows from the synapses in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory and learning. They found that astrocytes affect how effectively signals are transferred between the synapses and how this signalling changes over time. What happens is that the astrocytes sense activity from the synapses and respond by reducing the release of glutamate.

The researchers' discovery could lead to a whole new understanding of how the transfer of information between synapses is regulated, and of the importance of astrocytes in this process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Andersson, E. Hanse. Astrocytes Impose Postburst Depression of Release Probability at Hippocampal Glutamate Synapses. Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 30 (16): 5776 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3957-09.2010

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Astrocytes affect brain's information signaling, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614092528.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, October 18). Astrocytes affect brain's information signaling, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614092528.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Astrocytes affect brain's information signaling, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614092528.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins