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A Neuron–Glial Perspective for Computational Neuroscience

  • Maurizio De PittàEmail author
  • Hugues Berry
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series in Computational Neuroscience book series (NEUROSCI)

Abstract

There is growing excitement around glial cells, as compelling evidence point to new, previously unimaginable roles for these cells in information processing of the brain, with the potential to affect behavior and higher cognitive functions. Among their many possible functions, glial cells could be involved in practically every aspect of the brain physiology in health and disease. As a result, many investigators in the field welcome the notion of a neuron–glial paradigm of brain function, as opposed to Ramon y Cajal’s more classical neuronal doctrine which identifies neurons as the prominent, if not the only, cells capable of a signaling role in the brain. The demonstration of a brain-wide neuron–glial paradigm however remains elusive and so does the notion of what neuron–glial interactions could be functionally relevant for the brain computational tasks. In this perspective, we present a selection of arguments inspired by available experimental and modeling studies with the aim to computational neuroscience that no longer is a mere prerogative of neuronal signaling but rather it is the outcome of complex interaction between neurons and glial cells.

Keywords

Neuron–glia paradigm Calcium coding Neuron–glial systems Oligodendrocytes Microglia 

Abbreviations

Ado

Adenosine

AMPA (AMPAR)

\(\upalpha \)-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (receptor)

ANLS

Astrocyte-to-neuron lactate shuttle

AP

Action potential

AQP4

Aquaporin channel type 4

cAMP

Cyclic adenosine monophosphate

CICR

Calcium-induced calcium release

CNS

Central nervous system

ECS

Extracellular space

GABA

\(\upgamma \)-Aminobutyric acid

GGC

Glutamate–glutamine cycle

GPCR

G protein–coupled receptor

\({\mathrm{IP}_3}\)

Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate

Kir

Inwardly rectifying \({\mathrm{K}^+}\) channel

LTD

Long-term depression

LTP

Long-term potentiation

MCT

Monocarboxylate transporter

NA

Noradrenaline

NBC

\({\mathrm{Na}^+}\)-\({\mathrm{HCO}_3^-}\) cotransporter

NKP

\({\mathrm{Na}^+}\)/\({\mathrm{K}^+}\)-ATPase pump

NMDA (NMDAR)

N-Methyl-d-aspartate (receptor)

SIC (SOC)

Slow inward (outward) current

SON

Supraoptic nucleus

SSR

Steady-state synaptic release

TNF\(\upalpha \)

Tumor necrosis factor alpha

V1

Primary visual cortex

Notes

Acknowledgements

MDP acknowledges the support of Pôle emploi Rhône-Alpes and of the Junior Leader Postdoctoral Fellowship Program by “la Caixa” Banking Foundation (LCF/BQ/LI18/11630006). Completion of this chapter was also possible thank to the support of the Basque Government by the BERC 2018–2021 program and by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities: BCAM Severo Ochoa accreditation SEV-2017-0718.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group of Mathematical, Computational and Experimental NeuroscienceBasque Center for Applied MathematicsBilbao, BiscaySpain
  2. 2.EPI BEAGLE, INRIA Rhône-AlpesVilleurbanneFrance

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