astrocytes/neurotransmitters

Johnny Sandaire jsandair at acs.bu.edu
Wed Jan 11 23:18:56 EST 1995


In article <3edr24$opq at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, 
un691cs at genius.embnet.dkfz-heidelberg.de says...
>
>
>hello, 
>i need some info. Do astrocytes express any of the following substances ?
>Or could you point me towards a review which additional info ?
>some of these factors are neurotransmitters, so this makes me wonder:
>vip, tph,somatostatin, subst. P, cck,neuropept. Y, CGRP, LIF,
>enkaphilin.
>
>thanks in advance,
>
>clemens, heidelberg
>
   Generally, only nerve cells (neurons) are involve in nerotransmitter 
secretion-signalling.  Signalling is the function of neurons.  Astrocytes 
are involve in many other functions-mostly in the maintenance of the blood 
brain barrier.  It has been postulated that astrocytes are involve in the 
policing of excess K+ ions due to the constant firing of brain neurons.  The 
permeability of astrocytes allows for uptake of Cl- ions thereby maintaining 
electrical neutrality.  Astrocytes are considered as the third major class 
of glial cell, which are the most numourous, and at the same time the most 
enigmatic.  
  Their end-feet, formed on the surface of the nerve, brain and spinal cord, 
giving rise to the glial membrane (or limiting sheath) that surrounds the 
central nervous system as a protective covering.  Moreover, astrocytes are 
involve in the clean-up of the surrounding brain region and spinal cord. 
   Take a look at  Newman, E. A. 1986. High Potassium conductance in 
astrocyte endfeet Science 233:453-454. for mor information. 
-- 
________________________________________
Johnny Sandaire
PhD Candidate 
Behavioral Neuroscience/
Neuropsychopharmacology
Boston University School of Medicine
jsandair at acs.bu.edu
________________________________________




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