A Computational Study of Astrocytic GABA Release at the Glutamatergic Synapse: EAAT-2 and GAT-3 Coupled Dynamics

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Abstract

Neurotransmitter dynamics within neuronal synapses can be controlled by astrocytes and reflect key contributors to neuronal activity. In particular, Glutamate (Glu) released by activated neurons is predominantly removed from the synaptic space by perisynaptic astrocytic transporters EAAT-2 (GLT-1). In previous work, we showed that the time course of Glu transport is affected by ionic concentration gradients either side of the astrocytic membrane and has the propensity for influencing postsynaptic neuronal excitability. Experimental findings co-localize GABA transporters GAT-3 with EAAT-2 on the perisynaptic astrocytic membrane. While these transporters are unlikely to facilitate the uptake of synaptic GABA, this paper presents simulation results which demonstrate the coupling of EAAT-2 and GAT-3, giving rise to the ionic-dependent reversed transport of GAT-3. The resulting efflux of GABA from the astrocyte to the synaptic space reflects an important astrocytic mechanism for modulation of hyperexcitability. Key results also illustrate an astrocytic-mediated modulation of synaptic neuronal excitation by released GABA at the glutamatergic synapse.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Early online date12 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2021

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