Unwrapping Glial Cells from the Synapse: What Lies Inside?

Science  04 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5518, pp. 872-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060854

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Glial cells comprise most of the mass of the brain, yet their functions are only starting to be defined. In their Perspective, Gallo and Chittajallu synthesize two papers in this week's issue ( Iino et al and Oliet et al.) that add several items to glias's list of known tasks. Bergmann glia of the cerebellum are necessary for maintenance of the synapse between Purkinje cells and the climbing fibers. Similarly, reduced clearance of glutamate from a synapse in the supraoptic nucleus activates an inhibitory glutamate receptor more than usual, increasing synaptic inhibition.

  • * Currently a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellow.