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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Dec;23(6):1027-33. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Role of glia in developmental synapse formation.

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Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address:


Neuronal synapse formation and maturation in the developing brain is a complex multi-step process, and it is now clear that glial cells, in particular astrocytes, are key regulators of neuronal synaptogenesis. This article reviews the progress made in the past few years in identifying molecular mechanisms that glial cells use to regulate neuronal synaptogenesis. The focus is on novel glial molecules that induce synapse formation, inhibit synapse formation, or control synaptic levels of glutamate receptors. A role for glial cells in the pathology of neurodevelopmental disorders is discussed.

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