22 Jan

Allegrini P., Fronzoni L. and Pirino, D. (2009). The influence of the astrocyte field on neuronal dynamics and synchronization. Journal of Biological Physics, 35 (4), 413-423.

Astrocytes can sense local synaptic release of glutamate by metabotropic glutamate receptors. Receptor activation in turn can mediate transient increases of astrocytic intracellular calcium concentration through inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate production. Notably, the perturbation of calcium concentration can propagate to other adjacent astrocytes. Astrocytic calcium signaling can therefore be linked to synaptic information transfer between neurons. On the other hand, astrocytes can also modulate neuronal activity by feeding back onto synaptic terminals in a fashion that depends on their intracellular calcium concentration. Thus, astrocytes can also be active partners in neuronal network activity. The aim of our study is to provide a computationally simple network model of mutual neuron-astrocyte interactions, in order to investigate the possible roles of astrocytes in neuronal network dynamics. In particular, we focus on the information entropy of neuronal firing of the whole network, considering how it could be affected by neuron-glial interactions.