Exp Neurobiol.  2016 Oct;25(5):197-204. 10.5607/en.2016.25.5.197.

Optogenetic Glia Manipulation: Possibilities and Future Prospects

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, and Dental Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea. sjlee87@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Our brains are composed of two distinct cell types: neurons and glia. Emerging data from recent investigations show that glial cells, especially astrocytes and microglia, are able to regulate synaptic transmission and thus brain information processing. This suggests that, not only neuronal activity, but communication between neurons and glia also plays a key role in brain function. Thus, it is currently well known that the physiology and pathophysiology of brain function can only be completely understood by considering the interplay between neurons and glia. However, it has not yet been possible to dissect glial cell type-specific roles in higher brain functions in vivo. Meanwhile, the recent development of optogenetics techniques has allowed investigators to manipulate neural activity with unprecedented temporal and spatial precision. Recently, a series of studies suggested the possibility of applying this cutting-edge technique to manipulate glial cell activity. This review briefly discusses the feasibility of optogenetic glia manipulation, which may provide a technical innovation in elucidating the in vivo role of glial cells in complex higher brain functions.

Keyword

Optogenetics; Astrocyte; Microglia; Higher brain functions; Synapse

MeSH Terms

Astrocytes
Automatic Data Processing
Brain
Humans
Microglia
Neuroglia*
Neurons
Optogenetics*
Physiology
Research Personnel
Synapses
Synaptic Transmission
Full Text Links
  • EN
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr