Research Topic

Neuronal Pathways Affecting Glial Function

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Brain function is dominated by two key players, neurons and glia. Much of the established literature focuses on the impact of glial cells on neuronal activity, but studies published in the past two decades indicate a strong association and functional interaction between the two cell types, suggesting that the ...

Brain function is dominated by two key players, neurons and glia. Much of the established literature focuses on the impact of glial cells on neuronal activity, but studies published in the past two decades indicate a strong association and functional interaction between the two cell types, suggesting that the brain is a ‘neuron-glia system’ and that neuronal activity plays a role in affecting glial cell function.

For example, it is well established that glia express a plethora of ionotropic and metabotropic receptors, and that under physiological conditions they can react to neuronal activity via different pathways, including the release of neurotrophic factors and Ca2+-dependent release of gliotransmitters. Moreover, damage associated molecular patterns (DAMP’s) released from neurons during pathophysiological conditions can lead to glial activation and induction of neuroinflammation. Hence neurons can no longer be considered as the sole functional unit in the brain, and glia can no longer be perceived as the neurons side-kick.

The specific pathways and mechanisms by which neurons impact the functional activity of glial cells during both physiological and pathophysiological conditions are still unclear. This Research Topic aims to provide an overview of the mechanisms by which neurons affect the functional properties of glial cells. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include:

• Neuronal mechanisms that affect glial activation during development and disease
• Neuromodulation of astrocytic syncytium during normal and pathophysiological conditions

We encourage authors to provide manuscripts in the form of original research, technical methods, and comprehensive reviews of recent literature.


Keywords: Glia, Astrocytes, Neuromodulation, Syncytium, Oscillations


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