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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 8607038, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8607038
Review Article

Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

1Centro de Neurobiología y Plasticidad Cerebral (CNPC), Instituto de Fisiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Gran Bretaña Avenida 1111, 2360102 Valparaíso, Chile
2Núcleo Milenio en Biología de Enfermedades Neurosiquiátricas, Instituto de Fisiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Gran Bretaña Avenida 1111, 2360102 Valparaíso, Chile

Received 30 October 2015; Revised 20 January 2016; Accepted 31 January 2016

Academic Editor: Long-Jun Wu

Copyright © 2016 Christian Bonansco and Marco Fuenzalida. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks.