Neuronal-glial networks as substrate for CNS integration

A Verkhratsky, Emil Toescu

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    65 Citations (Scopus)


    Astrocytes have been considered, for a long time, as the support and house-keeping cells of the nervous system. Indeed, the astrocytes play very important metabolic roles in the brain, but the catalogue of nervous system functions or activities that involve directly glial participation has extended dramatically in the last decade. In addition to the further refining of the signalling capacity of the neuroglial networks and the detailed reassessment of the interactions between glia and vascular bed in the brain, one of the important salient features of the increased glioscience activity in the last few years was the morphological and functional demonstration that protoplasmic astrocytes occupy well defined spatial territories, with only limited areas of morphological overlapping, but still able to communicate with adjacent neighbours through intercellular junctions. All these features form the basis for a possible reassessment of the nature of integration of activity in the central nervous system that could raise glia to a role of central integrator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)826-836
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


    • neuronal-glial interactions
    • astrocytes
    • plasticity
    • glia
    • glutamate


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