The importance of communication between neuronal and glial cells for brain function is recognized by a modern concept of ‘tripartite synapse’. Astrocytes enwrap synapses and can modulate their activity by releasing gliotransmitters such as ATP, glutamate and D-serine. One of the regulatory pathways in the tripartite synapse is mediated by P2X purinoreceptors. Release of ATP from synaptic terminals and astrocytes activates Ca2+ influx via P2X purinoreceptors which co-localize with NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptors and can modulate their activity via intracellular cascades which involve phosphatase II and PKA (protein kinase A).
Ca2+-dependent modulation of GABAA and NMDA receptors by extracellular ATP: implication for function of tripartite synapse
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Ulyana Lalo, Jemma Andrew, Oleg Palygin, Yuriy Pankratov; Ca2+-dependent modulation of GABAA and NMDA receptors by extracellular ATP: implication for function of tripartite synapse. Biochem Soc Trans 1 December 2009; 37 (6): 1407–1411. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST0371407
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