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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cell. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00335

GABA regulation of burst firing in hippocampal astrocyte neural circuit: A biophysical model

  • 1Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Ulster University, United Kingdom
  • 2University of Minnesota Twin Cities, United States
  • 3Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland
  • 4University of York, United Kingdom

It is now widely accepted that glia cells and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABA) interneurons dynamically regulate synaptic transmission and neuronal activity in time and space. This paper presents a biophysical model that captures the interaction between an astrocyte cell, a GABA interneuron and pre/postsynaptic neurons. Specifically, GABA released from a GABA interneuron triggers in astrocytes the release of calcium (Ca^(2+)) from the endoplasmic reticulum via the inositol 1, 4, 5-trisphosphate (IP_3) pathway. This results in gliotransmission which elevates the presynaptic transmission probability rate (PR) causing weight potentiation and a gradual increase in postsynaptic neuronal firing, which eventually stabilises. However, by capturing the complex interactions between IP_3, generated from both GABA and the 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) pathway, and PR, this paper shows that this interaction not only gives rise to an initial weight potentiation phase but also this phase is followed by postsynaptic bursting behaviour. Moreover, the model will show that there is a presynaptic frequency range over which burst firing can occur. The proposed model offers a novel cellular level mechanism that may underpin both seizure-like activity and neuronal synchrony across different brain regions.

Keywords: Astrocyte cell, GABA interneuron, burst firing, Calcium oscillation, potentiation

Received: 16 Mar 2019; Accepted: 08 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Giovanni Cirillo, Second University of Naples, Italy

Reviewed by:

Rheinallt Parri, Aston University, United Kingdom
Stefano Taverna, San Raffaele Hospital (IRCCS), Italy
Gertrudis Perea, Cajal Institute (CSIC), Spain  

Copyright: © 2019 Liu, McDaid, Araque, Wade, Harkin, Karim, Henshall, Connolly, Johnson, Tyrrell, Timmis, Millard, Hilder and Halliday. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Junxiu Liu, Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Ulster University, Derry, United Kingdom, j.liu1@ulster.ac.uk