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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9454275, 11 pages
Review Article

Modulation of Central Synapses by Astrocyte-Released ATP and Postsynaptic P2X Receptors

1Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, University Bordeaux, UMR 5293, 33000 Bordeaux, France
2Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, CNRS, UMR 5293, 33000 Bordeaux, France
3School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
4School of Life Sciences, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to Eric Boué-Grabot

Received 24 March 2017; Accepted 10 July 2017; Published 6 August 2017

Academic Editor: Antonio Pinto-Duarte

Copyright © 2017 Eric Boué-Grabot and Yuriy Pankratov. 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.


Communication between neuronal and glial cells is important for neural plasticity. P2X receptors are ATP-gated cation channels widely expressed in the brain where they mediate action of extracellular ATP released by neurons and/or glia. Recent data show that postsynaptic P2X receptors underlie slow neuromodulatory actions rather than fast synaptic transmission at brain synapses. Here, we review these findings with a particular focus on the release of ATP by astrocytes and the diversity of postsynaptic P2X-mediated modulation of synaptic strength and plasticity in the CNS.