Metabotropic Pathways

mat mats_trash at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 21 08:55:50 EST 2002

james at teoth.fsnet.co.uk (James Teo) wrote in message news:<3c479c1f.28052049 at news.freeserve.net>...
> On 16 Jan 2002 15:28:01 -0800, mats_trash at hotmail.com (mat) wrote:
> >"yan king yin" <y.k.y@(dont spam)lycos.com> wrote in message news:<PVd18.935$na5.123627 at news.xtra.co.nz>...
> >> There could be two types of diffusion. One is retrograde, from
> >> postsynaptic to presynaptic. Another type is from one postsynaptic
> >> site to another postsynaptic site nearby (inside the same dendrite).
> >> Im suggesting this latter form might lead to some interesting learning
> >> rules.
> >
> >There is actually spillover of transmitter itself at some synapses. 
> >Another thing you might want to investigate for your learning rules is
> >the role of Glial cells.  THey are not passive structural cells but
> >actually participate in transmitter uptake from synpases etc. further
> >a system of 'volume transmission' of molecules such as NO over broad
> >areas of the brain has been found to be due to glia.  Its role in
> >higher function is unclear though.
> And on the topic of glia, I can tell you that they are very active
> cells in neurotransmission. I did some work on glial metabotropic
> glutamate receptors 3 years ago, and I found that mGlu agonists
> increase glutamate release from glial cells and mGluR5 antagonists
> inhibited this process. Now there are loads of neurotransmitter
> receptors (ionotropic and metabotropic) on glial cells so it is not
> surprising if they somehow modulate synaptic transmission in some way.
> Someone (Nerdergaard is his name I believe) has done a lot of work on
> this area and has postulated a new view of the synapse: the synapse as
> a tripartite connection. 
> Glia makes for a complex additional pathway for retrograde synaptic
> transmission other than simple molecules like NO and CO.

I am studying mGluRs in the neocortex at the moment.  Out of interest,
how did you isolate the glial cell functions?  Did you culture glia or
somehow differentiate the effects of the (ant)agonists on neurones and
glia?  I'm just asking since if it was a simple technique I might be
able to employ it! :)  Did you publish your results?

ps, is that the correct name of the author you cited, can't seem to
find any references on medline?

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