Sodium dynamics: Another key to astroglial excitability?

Academic Article


  • Astroglial excitability is largely mediated by fluctuations in intracellular ion concentrations. In addition to generally acknowledged Ca2+ excitability of astroglia, recent studies have demonstrated that neuronal activity triggers transient increases in the cytosolic Na+ concentration ([Na+]i) in perisynaptic astrocytes. These [Na+]i transients are controlled by multiple Na+-permeable channels and Na+-dependent transporters; spatiotemporally organized [Na+]i dynamics in turn regulate diverse astroglial homeostatic responses such as metabolic/signaling utilization of lactate and glutamate, transmembrane transport of neurotransmitters and K+ buffering. In particular, near-membrane [Na+]i transients determine the rate and the direction of the transmembrane transport of GABA and Ca2+. We discuss here the role of Na+ in the regulation of various systems that mediate fast bidirectional communication between neurones and glia at the single synapse level. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kirischuk S; Parpura V; Verkhratsky A
  • Start Page

  • 497
  • End Page

  • 506
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 8