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Peptides. 2004 Mar;25(3):403-11.

Dynamic neuronal-glial interactions: an overview 20 years later.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


After commenting on some perceived reasons why our review may have been relatively frequently cited, a brief overview is presented that first summarizes what we knew 25 years ago about the dynamic neuronal-astroglial interactions that occur in response to changes in the physiological state of the animal. The brain system in which these dynamic interactions were studied was the magnocellular hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system (mHNS) of the rat. The mHNS developed as and continues to be the model system yielding the most coherent picture of dynamic morphological changes and insights into their functional consequences. Many other brain areas, however, have more recently come under scrutiny in the search for glial-neuronal dynamisms. Outlined next are some of the questions concerning this phenomenon that led to the research efforts immediately following the initial discoveries, along with the answers, both complete and incomplete, obtained to those research questions. The basis for this first wave of follow-up research can be characterized by the phrase "what we knew we didn't know at that time." The final section is an update and brief overview of highlights of both "what we know now" and "what we now know that we don't know" about dynamic neuronal-astroglial interactions in the mHNS.

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