LTP Induction Boosts Glutamate Spillover by Driving Withdrawal of Perisynaptic Astroglia

Christian Henneberger, Lucie Bard, Aude Panatier, James P. Reynolds, Olga Kopach, Nikolay I. Medvedev, Daniel Minge, Michel K. Herde, Stefanie Anders, Igor Kraev, Janosch P. Heller, Sylvain Rama, Kaiyu Zheng, Thomas P. Jensen, Inmaculada Sanchez-Romero, Colin J. Jackson, Harald Janovjak, Ole Petter Ottersen, Erlend Arnulf Nagelhus, Stephane H.R. OlietMichael G. Stewart, U. Valentin Nägerl, Dmitri A. Rusakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)
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Extrasynaptic actions of glutamate are limited by high-affinity transporters expressed by perisynaptic astroglial processes (PAPs): this helps maintain point-to-point transmission in excitatory circuits. Memory formation in the brain is associated with synaptic remodeling, but how this affects PAPs and therefore extrasynaptic glutamate actions is poorly understood. Here, we used advanced imaging methods, in situ and in vivo, to find that a classical synaptic memory mechanism, long-term potentiation (LTP), triggers withdrawal of PAPs from potentiated synapses. Optical glutamate sensors combined with patch-clamp and 3D molecular localization reveal that LTP induction thus prompts spatial retreat of astroglial glutamate transporters, boosting glutamate spillover and NMDA-receptor-mediated inter-synaptic cross-talk. The LTP-triggered PAP withdrawal involves NKCC1 transporters and the actin-controlling protein cofilin but does not depend on major Ca2+-dependent cascades in astrocytes. We have therefore uncovered a mechanism by which a memory trace at one synapse could alter signal handling by multiple neighboring connections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-936.e11
Number of pages30
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • astrocyte plasticity
  • barrel cortex
  • Excitatory synapse
  • glutamate sensor imaging
  • glutamate spillover
  • hippocampus
  • long-term potentiation
  • perisynaptic astroglial processes
  • super-resolution microscopy
  • whisker stimulation


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