The entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuit is centrally involved in memory processing conveying to the hippocampus spatial and nonspatial context information via, respectively, medial and lateral perforant path (MPP and LPP) excitatory projections onto dentate granule cells (GCs). Here, we review work of several years from our group showing that astrocytes sense local synaptic transmission and exert in turn a presynaptic control at PP-GC synapses. Modulation of neurotransmitter release probability by astrocytes sets basal synaptic strength and dynamic range for long-term potentiation of PP-GC synapses. Intriguingly, this astrocyte control is circuit-specific, being present only at MPP-GC (not LPP-GC) synapses, which selectively express atypical presynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) suitable to activation by astrocyte-released glutamate. Moreover, the astrocytic control is peculiarly dependent on the cytokine TNFα, which at constitutive levels acts as a gating factor for the astrocyte signaling. During inflammation/infection processes, increased levels of TNFα lead to uncontrolled astrocyte glutamate release, altered PP-GC circuit processing and, ultimately, impaired contextual memory performance. The TNFα-dependent pathological switch of the synaptic control from astrocytes and its deleterious consequences are observed in animal models of HIV brain infection and multiple sclerosis, conditions both known to cause cognitive disturbances in up to 50% of patients. The review also discusses open issues related to the identified astrocytic pathway: its role in contextual memory processing, potential damaging role in Alzheimer's disease, the existence of vesicular glutamate release from DG astrocytes, and the possible synaptic-like connectivity between astrocytic output sites and PP receptive sites.

Astrocyte control of the entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuit: Relevance to cognitive processing and impairment in pathology / Di Castro, M. A.; Volterra, A.. - In: GLIA. - ISSN 0894-1491. - (2021). [10.1002/glia.24128]

Astrocyte control of the entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuit: Relevance to cognitive processing and impairment in pathology

Di Castro M. A.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021

Abstract

The entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuit is centrally involved in memory processing conveying to the hippocampus spatial and nonspatial context information via, respectively, medial and lateral perforant path (MPP and LPP) excitatory projections onto dentate granule cells (GCs). Here, we review work of several years from our group showing that astrocytes sense local synaptic transmission and exert in turn a presynaptic control at PP-GC synapses. Modulation of neurotransmitter release probability by astrocytes sets basal synaptic strength and dynamic range for long-term potentiation of PP-GC synapses. Intriguingly, this astrocyte control is circuit-specific, being present only at MPP-GC (not LPP-GC) synapses, which selectively express atypical presynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) suitable to activation by astrocyte-released glutamate. Moreover, the astrocytic control is peculiarly dependent on the cytokine TNFα, which at constitutive levels acts as a gating factor for the astrocyte signaling. During inflammation/infection processes, increased levels of TNFα lead to uncontrolled astrocyte glutamate release, altered PP-GC circuit processing and, ultimately, impaired contextual memory performance. The TNFα-dependent pathological switch of the synaptic control from astrocytes and its deleterious consequences are observed in animal models of HIV brain infection and multiple sclerosis, conditions both known to cause cognitive disturbances in up to 50% of patients. The review also discusses open issues related to the identified astrocytic pathway: its role in contextual memory processing, potential damaging role in Alzheimer's disease, the existence of vesicular glutamate release from DG astrocytes, and the possible synaptic-like connectivity between astrocytic output sites and PP receptive sites.
2021
astrocyte; cognitive impairment; gliotransmission; hippocampal memory; presynaptic NMDA receptors; synaptic modulation; TNF alpha
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Astrocyte control of the entorhinal cortex-dentate gyrus circuit: Relevance to cognitive processing and impairment in pathology / Di Castro, M. A.; Volterra, A.. - In: GLIA. - ISSN 0894-1491. - (2021). [10.1002/glia.24128]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1624226
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