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Title: Astrocytic channels interplay : modulation of potassium currents and its importance for astrocytic functions
Author: Andrianova, Liliya
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 9066
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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A healthy cognition rests on a balanced interaction of neuronal and glial cell populations. Astrocytes are most numerous glial cells in the brain. Their functions include modulation of signalling and plasticity at the tripartite synapse and homeostasis of the brain, in particularly the control of potassium and glutamate in the extracellular space. This project aimed at bridging the two pools of astrocytic functions, by investigating molecular links between ionotropic channels and potassium currents of astrocytes. Whole-cell potassium currents were recorded in the acutely isolated astrocytes of somatosensory cortex layer II/III in young and old mice, and both the capacitance and the current density of the voltage-gated but not of inwardly rectifying potassium currents increased with age. The modulation of potassium currents by other ionic channels, including P2X1/5, NMDARs and PAR‑1 receptors was established. Activation of these channels was found to potentiate outward potassium current by 15 ‑ 35%, and this mechanism was found to be calcium‑dependent. The addition of 4‑aminopyridine blocked this facilitation, whereas barium chloride did not. This effect was explored in Light Transmittance experiments where tissue swelling was measured. Activation of this mechanism increased the extent of tissue swelling during neuronal activity in young adult mice. This modulation was found to diminish with age, as the effect dramatically reduced in group II mice. It is believed that this could be an important step in the initiation of potassium buffering in the cortex. The data contributes to the current understanding of the molecular processes linking signalling and physiological functions of astrocytes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology