Regulated exocytosis in astrocytic signal integration

Academic Article


  • Astrocytes can be considered as signal integrators in central nervous system activity. These glial cells can respond to signals from the heterocellular milieu of the brain and subsequently release various molecules to signal to themselves and/or other neighboring neural cells. An important functional module that enables signal integration in astrocytes is exocytosis, a Ca2+-dependent process consisting of vesicular fusion to the plasma membrane. Astrocytes utilize regulated exocytosis to release various signaling molecules stored in the vesicular lumen. Here we review the properties of exocytotic release of three classes of gliotransmitters: (i) amino acids, (ii) nucleotides and (iii) peptides. Vesicles may carry not only lumenal cargo, but also membrane-associated molecules. Therefore, we also discuss exocytosis as a delivery mechanism for transporters and receptors to the plasma membrane, where these proteins are involved in astrocytic intercellular signaling. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Parpura V; Baker BJ; Jeras M; Zorec R
  • Start Page

  • 451
  • End Page

  • 459
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 4