Neuron-glia signaling is important for neural development and functions. This signaling may be regulated by neuronal activity and undergo modification similar to long-term potentiation (LTP) of neuronal synapses, a hallmark of neuronal plasticity. We found that tetanic stimulation of Schaffer collaterals (Sc) in the hippocampus that induced LTP in neurons also resulted in LTP-like persistent elevation of Sc-evoked slow depolarization in perisynaptic astrocytes. The elevated slow depolarization in astrocytes was abolished by NMDA receptor antagonist and K+ channel inhibitors, but not by Ca2 + chelator BAPTA loaded in the recorded astrocytes, suggesting involvement of an increased extracellular K+ accumulation accompanying LTP of neuronal synapses. The increased K+ accumulation and astrocyte depolarization after LTP induction may reduce the efficiency of glial glutamate transporters, which may contribute to the enhanced synaptic efficacy. The neuronal activity-induced persistent enhancement of neuron- glia signaling may thus have important physiological relevance.
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