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      Cell biology of astrocyte-synapse interactions

      research-article
      1 , 2 , 3 , 4
      Neuron

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          Abstract

          Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we will pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          8809320
          1600
          Neuron
          Neuron
          Neuron
          0896-6273
          1097-4199
          29 September 2017
          01 November 2017
          01 November 2018
          : 96
          : 3
          : 697-708
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Hearst Foundation Development Chair, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA, 1 858 453 4100 x2129
          [2 ]Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA, 1 919 684 3665
          [3 ]Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA, 1 919 684 3665
          [4 ]Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA, 1 919 684 3665
          Author notes
          Article
          PMC5687890 PMC5687890 5687890 nihpa909952
          10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.056
          5687890
          29096081
          06d2674a-e4e4-4336-9218-33398996f61e
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