Mechanosensitive Channels in Neuronal and Astroglial Cells in the Nervous System

  • Sergei Kirischuk
Part of the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues book series (MECT, volume 2)


The central nervous system consists of two cell classes, neurons and glia. Mechanosensitive channels are expressed on the plasma membrane of both non-sensory neurons and glial cells. Different chemical stimuli, such as neurotransmitters, or poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and stimuli associated with membrane deformation, such as perfusion with hypo-osmotic solutions or local mechanical stress, influence the activity of these channels. Several mechanosensitive K+, such as TREK/TRAAK family, and non-selective cation channels, such as transient receptor potential family, have been recently cloned, and their expression in both neurons and astroglia has been demonstrated. The main aim of this article is to summarize the available data on mechanosensitivity of these two cell types. Possible roles of recently characterized MS channels in the brain development and functioning are discussed.


Mechanosensitive channels Astrocytes Neurons Glia 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergei Kirischuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Neurophysiology, Johannes-Mueller-Center of Physiology, Charité-University-Medicine BerlinTucholskyst 2Germany

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