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The barrel cortex as a model to study dynamic neuroglial interaction.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2009
Author Giaume Christian, Maravall Miguel, Welker Egbert, Bonvento Gilles,
Project Molecular and structural basis for homeostatic plasticity in the adult barrel cortex.
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
Volume (Issue) 15(4)
Page(s) 351 - 66
Title of proceedings The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
DOI 10.1177/1073858409336092

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that glial cells, in particular astrocytes, interact dynamically with neurons. The well-known anatomofunctional organization of neurons in the barrel cortex offers a suitable and promising model to study such neuroglial interaction. This review summarizes and discusses recent in vitro as well as in vivo works demonstrating that astrocytes receive, integrate, and respond to neuronal signals. In addition, they are active elements of brain metabolism and exhibit a certain degree of plasticity that affects neuronal activity. Altogether these findings indicate that the barrel cortex presents glial compartments overlapping and interacting with neuronal compartments and that these properties help define barrels as functional and independent units. Finally, this review outlines how the use of the barrel cortex as a model might in the future help to address important questions related to dynamic neuroglia interaction.
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