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Journal Articles International Journal of Molecular Sciences Year : 2021

NMDARs, Coincidence Detectors of Astrocytic and Neuronal Activities


Synaptic plasticity is an extensively studied cellular correlate of learning and memory in which NMDARs play a starring role. One of the most interesting features of NMDARs is their ability to act as a co-incident detector. It is unique amongst neurotransmitter receptors in this respect. Co-incident detection is possible because the opening of NMDARs requires membrane depolarisation and the binding of glutamate. Opening of NMDARs also requires a co-agonist. Although the dynamic regulation of glutamate and membrane depolarization have been well studied in coincident detection, the role of the co-agonist site is unexplored. It turns out that non-neuronal glial cells, astrocytes, regulate co-agonist availability, giving them the ability to influence synaptic plasticity. The unique morphology and spatial arrangement of astrocytes at the synaptic level affords them the capacity to sample and integrate information originating from unrelated synapses, regardless of any pre-synaptic and post-synaptic commonality. As astrocytes are classically considered slow responders, their influence at the synapse is widely recognized as modulatory. The aim herein is to reconsider the potential of astrocytes to participate directly in ongoing synaptic NMDAR activity and co-incident detection.

Dates and versions

hal-03372663 , version 1 (11-10-2021)



Mark Sherwood, Stéphane Oliet, Aude Panatier. NMDARs, Coincidence Detectors of Astrocytic and Neuronal Activities. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021, 22 (14), pp.7258. ⟨10.3390/ijms22147258⟩. ⟨hal-03372663⟩
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