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Astrocytes in the mouse brain

Ion signalling in the brain
Excitatory activity also evokes long-lasting sodium transients in astrocytes, a major class of glial cells of the vertebrate brain, which mainly arise due to sodium-dependent glutamate uptake. While there is no clear evidence for buffering nor specific binding proteins for sodium, the properties of such activity-related sodium transients are fundamentally different from those described for intracellular calcium signals. The functional consequences of sodium transients are manifold and are just coming into view. It has become clear, however, that intracellular sodium changes might serve as signals themselves, influencing and regulating important cellular functions and playing a role in neuron-glia interaction. The figure shows astrocytes in the mouse brain, double-stained against their intracellular filament GFAP and the astrocyte marker S100ß. Their perivascular endfeet nicely delineate a blood vessel.

Neurobiology:
Christine R. Rose

Copyright: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
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