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Specialized channels in astrocytes

Abstract

As discussed in Chapter 7, astrocytes express a large repertoire of ion channels that are reminiscent of those used by excitable cells to generate or propagate electrical signals. In addition, astrocytes also contain more specialized channels that appear to engage in ion and water homeostasis in brain. Most notably, these include anion channels and water-permeable aquaporins. These channels are much less well understood than their voltage-gated cousins. This chapter attempts to provide a concise summary of our current knowledge regarding the molecular, pharmacological and biophysical characteristics of these specialized channels as well as to discuss some of the potential roles for these channels in the biology of astrocytes. The reader is also referred to recent reviews on anion channels in astrocytes (Walz, 2002) and aquaporins in the central nervous system (Badaut et al., 2002;Venero et al., 2001).

Keywords

Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Chloride Channel Anion Channel Neuronal Signaling Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

ClC

Voltage-gated chloride channel

CFTR

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator

dBcAMP

Dibutyryl-cyclic-AMP

DIDS

4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2–2′-disulfonic acid

DPC

Diphenylamine-2-carboxylate

GABAA

γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor

GFAP

Glial fibrillary acidic protein

MAPK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase

MEK

Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase

9-AC

9-anthracene carboxylic acid

NPPB

5-Nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid

PKA

Protein kinase A

PKC

Protein kinase C

SITS

4-acetamido-4′-isocyanatostilbene-2–2′-disulfonic acid

TEA+

Tetraethylammonium ion

VDAC

Voltage-dependent anion channel

VSOAC

Volume-sensitive organic osmolyte-anion channel

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and Civitan International Research CenterThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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