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Nat Neurosci. 2014 Apr;17(4):549-58. doi: 10.1038/nn.3662. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Connexin 30 sets synaptic strength by controlling astroglial synapse invasion.

Author information

1
1] Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, INSERM U1050, CNRS UMR 7241, Labex Memolife, PSL Research University, Paris, France. [2] Doctoral school N° 158, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France. [3].
2
1] Institute of Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, INSERM 1024, CNRS UMR 8197, Paris, France. [2] Department of Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. [3].
3
1] Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, INSERM U1050, CNRS UMR 7241, Labex Memolife, PSL Research University, Paris, France. [2] Doctoral school N° 158, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France.
4
CNRS URA2210, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, MIRCen, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
5
CNRS UMR 7637, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, Paris, France.
6
Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine INM-2, Research Center Jülich, Jülich, Germany.
7
1] Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine INM-2, Research Center Jülich, Jülich, Germany. [2] Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen University, Jülich-Aachen Research Alliance Translational Brain Medicine, Aachen, Germany.
8
1] CNRS URA2210, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, MIRCen, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France. [2].
9
Center of Interdisciplinary Electron Microscopy, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
10
1] Institute of Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, INSERM 1024, CNRS UMR 8197, Paris, France. [2] Department of Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

Astrocytes play active roles in brain physiology by dynamic interactions with neurons. Connexin 30, one of the two main astroglial gap-junction subunits, is thought to be involved in behavioral and basic cognitive processes. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are unknown. We show here in mice that connexin 30 controls hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission through modulation of astroglial glutamate transport, which directly alters synaptic glutamate levels. Unexpectedly, we found that connexin 30 regulated cell adhesion and migration and that connexin 30 modulation of glutamate transport, occurring independently of its channel function, was mediated by morphological changes controlling insertion of astroglial processes into synaptic clefts. By setting excitatory synaptic strength, connexin 30 plays an important role in long-term synaptic plasticity and in hippocampus-based contextual memory. Taken together, these results establish connexin 30 as a critical regulator of synaptic strength by controlling the synaptic location of astroglial processes.

Comment in

PMID:
24584052
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3662
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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