Sodium homeostasis and signalling: The core and the hub of astrocyte function

Christine R. Rose, Alexej Verkhratsky

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Neuronal activity and neurochemical stimulation trigger spatio-temporal changes in the cytoplasmic concentration of Na+ ions in astrocytes. These changes constitute the substrate for Na+ signalling and are fundamental for astrocytic excitability. Astrocytic Na+ signals are generated by Na+ influx through neurotransmitter transporters, with primary contribution of glutamate transporters, and through cationic channels; whereas recovery from Na+ transients is mediated mainly by the plasmalemmal Na+/K+ ATPase. Astrocytic Na+ signals regulate the activity of plasmalemmal transporters critical for homeostatic function of astrocytes, thus providing real-time coordination between neuronal activity and astrocytic support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102817
JournalCell calcium
Early online date4 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Astrocyte
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Na signalling
  • Na/K pump
  • pH regulation
  • SLC transporters
  • Stroke


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