João Filipe Oliveira, apoiado pela Fundação BIAL no âmbito do projeto 37/18 – Decoding the neuron-astrocyte dialogue that supports cognitive processing, concluiu que os astrócitos, para além de contribuirem para o controlo homeostático e para a troca de sinais entre moléculas, também regulam a atividade rítmica e sincronização da rede neuronal, bem como dos estados cerebrais. O artigo que detalha estes resultados “Astrocyte regulation of neural circuit activity and network states” foi publicado na revista científica Glia.
“Astrocytes are known to influence neuronal activity through different mechanisms, including the homeostatic control of extracellular levels of ions and neurotransmitters and the exchange of signaling molecules that regulate synaptic formation, structure, and function. While a great effort done in the past has defined many molecular mechanisms and cellular processes involved in astrocyte-neuron interactions at the cellular level, the consequences of these interactions at the network level in vivo have only relatively recently been identified. This review describes and discusses recent findings on the regulatory effects of astrocytes on the activity of neuronal networks in vivo. Accumulating but still limited, evidence indicates that astrocytes regulate neuronal network rhythmic activity and synchronization as well as brain states. These studies demonstrate a critical contribution of astrocytes to brain activity and are paving the way for a more thorough understanding of the cellular bases of brain function.”