Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Astrocytes target presynaptic NMDA receptors to give synapses a boost

Astrocytes modulate synaptic strength. This effect occurs, reports a new paper, because ATP-dependent vesicular release of astrocytic glutamate acts on presynaptic neuronal NMDA receptors to increase synaptic efficacy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the anatomical, neural and glial transmitter relationships causing synaptic strengthening in the dentate gyrus.

Kim Caesar


  1. Haydon, P.G. & Carmignoto, G. Physiol. Rev. 86, 1009–1031 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Jourdain, P. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 10, 331–339 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Araque, A., Parpura, V., Sanzgiri, R.P. & Haydon, P.G. Eur. J. Neurosci. 10, 2129–2142 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Fiacco, T.A. & McCarthy, K.D. J. Neurosci. 24, 722–732 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kang, J., Jiang, L., Goldman, S.A. & Nedergaard, M. Nat. Neurosci. 1, 683–692 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Serrano, A., Haddjeri, N., Lacaille, J.C. & Robitaille, R. J. Neurosci. 26, 5370–5382 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Pascual, O. et al. Science 310, 113–116 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Rusakov, D.A., Kullmann, D.M. & Stewart, M.G. Trends Neurosci. 22, 382–388 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Duguid, I.C. & Smart, T.G. Nat. Neurosci. 7, 525–533 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Berretta, N. & Jones, R.S. Neuroscience 75, 339–344 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Parri, H.R., Gould, T.M. & Crunelli, V. Nat. Neurosci. 4, 803–812 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Angulo, M.C., Kozlov, A.S., Charpak, S. & Audinat, E. J. Neurosci. 24, 6920–6927 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Fellin, T. et al. Neuron 43, 729–743 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Kozlov, A.S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 10058–10063 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Gordon, G.R. et al. Nat. Neurosci. 8, 1078–1086 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Parri, R., Crunelli, V. Astrocytes target presynaptic NMDA receptors to give synapses a boost. Nat Neurosci 10, 271–273 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing