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Glial Plasticity in Depression

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199990 Year: Pages: 99 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-999-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Abstract

Major depression is a highly prevalent disorder that poses a significant social burden in society nowadays. The pathophysiology of this disease is still poorly understood but growing evidence suggests that impaired neuron and glial plasticity may be a key underlying mechanism for the precipitation of the disorder. One of the most surprising findings in this field was the involvement of glial cells in the pathophysiology of major depression and in the action of antidepressants, namely in mechanisms related with adult neurogenesis imbalances or dendritic arborization impairments. In particular, several works refer to alterations in the morphology and numbers of astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes in the context of depression in human patients or animal models of depression. These observations were linked to functional evidences and suggested to underlie the pathophysiology of depression. Among others, these include impairments in the cross-talk between glia and neurons, changes in the level of neurotransmitter or immunoactive substances, myelination status, synapse formation, maintenance, or elimination. In addition to the implication of glia in the pathophysiology of depression, a number of studies is ascribing glia pathways to classically accepted antidepressant mechanisms. Therefore, it is noteworthy to elucidate the role of glia in the effect provided by antidepressant treatment in order to better understand secondary effects and elucidate alternative targets for treatment.

Single Membrane Channels Formed by Connexins or Pannexins: Focus on the Nervous System

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198900 Year: Pages: 241 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-890-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Given that the extremely elaborated and dynamic functions performed by the nervous system require the close synchronization of brain cells, complex organisms have developed different mechanisms of intercellular communication. At this regard, paracrine signaling between neighboring cells is currently recognized as one of the most widely distributed mechanisms of synchronization in the brain parenchyma. In mammals, paracrine signaling is in part mediated by single membrane channels formed by connexins (connexons/hemichannels) or pannexins (pannexons), which are two different membrane protein families composed of about 20 and 3 members, respectively. Single membrane channels formed by these proteins serve as aqueous pores permeable to ions and small molecules, allowing the diffusional exchange between the intra- and extracellular milieu. Thus, connexin hemichannels and pannexons permit the release of significant quantities of autocrine/paracrine signaling molecules (e.g., ATP, glutamate, NAD+, adenosine and PGE2) into the extracellular milieu, as well as the uptake of small molecules. An increasing body of evidence has revealed that connexin hemichannels and pannexons play a crucial role in a plethora of brain processes including blood flow regulation, Ca2+ wave propagation, memory consolidation, glucose sensing and cell migration and adhesion. Considering the multiple cell signaling functions of these channels, their dysregulation is proposed not only as potential pathological biomarker, but it has been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of diverse brain diseases (e.g., meningitis, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke). The aim of this Research Topic is to gather a collection of original research articles, method, protocols, short communications, opinions, perspectives, as well as review articles, providing the latest progress and insights in the field of connexin hemichannels and pannexons in the nervous system. Within this volume we plan to cover from basic research including channel structure, regulation, pharmacology and trafficking; to different biological functions in the physiology (behavior, plasticity, neurogenesis, blood flow control, neuron-glia crosstalk, cell migration and differentiation) as well as in the pathophysiology (neuroinflammation, mutation-related diseases, glial dysfunction and neurodegeneration) of the nervous system. We hope that this collection of articles will serve to understand how the signaling of connexin hemichannels and pannexons influences both normal and pathological brain function.

Keywords

astrocyte --- Microglia --- Neuron --- Brain --- glia --- connexin --- pannexin --- hemichannel --- connexon --- pannexon

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