Astrocytes regulating synaptogenesis

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Science  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6364, pp. 759-760
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6364.759-f

Brain circuitry develops as neurons connect at synapses. Farhy-Tselnicker et al., studying retinal ganglion cells, explored the signaling pathways that ensure that such synapses are timely and meaningful. In the developing mouse visual system, astrocytes are in place and expressing glypican as the synapses begin to form. Glypican, tethered by RPTP receptors on a presynaptic neuronal surface, causes that neuron to release pentraxin, which stabilizes clusters of neurotransmitter receptors on the postsynaptic surface. Mice with disruptions in this pathway were deficient in synapse formation. Thus, astrocytes tell the presynaptic neuron just when to reach out to its postsynaptic partner.

Neuron 96, 428–445 (2017).

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