The role of astrocyte structural plasticity in regulating neural circuit function and behavior.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Brain circuits undergo substantial structural changes during development, driven by the formation, stabilization, and elimination of synapses. Synaptic connections continue to undergo experience-dependent structural rearrangements throughout life, which are postulated to underlie learning and memory. Astrocytes, a major glial cell type in the brain, are physically in contact with synaptic circuits through their structural ensheathment of synapses. Astrocytes strongly contribute to the remodeling of synaptic structures in healthy and diseased central nervous systems by regulating synaptic connectivity and behaviors. However, whether structural plasticity of astrocytes is involved in their critical functions at the synapse is unknown. This review will discuss the emerging evidence linking astrocytic structural plasticity to synaptic circuit remodeling and regulation of behaviors. Moreover, we will survey possible molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating the structural plasticity of astrocytes and their non-cell-autonomous effects on neuronal plasticity. Finally, we will discuss how astrocyte morphological changes in different physiological states and disease conditions contribute to neuronal circuit function and dysfunction.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lawal, O; Ulloa Severino, FP; Eroglu, C

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1467 - 1483

PubMed ID

  • 35535566

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9233050

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-1136

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/glia.24191


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States