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Neurosteroids modulate the reaction of astroglia to high extracellular potassium levels

AuthorsCerro, Sonia del; García-Estrada, J.; García-Segura, Luis M.
Issue Date1996
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationGlia 18: 293-305 (1996)
AbstractThe extracellular concentration of potassium ([K+](o)) in brain tissue is modified by neuronal activity and is increased under several pathological conditions. The influence of neurosteroids on the astroglia response to high [K+](o) was assessed on cultured slices from rat hippocampus. Exposure to [K+](o) above physiological (3 mM) levels resulted in the progressive appearance of cell processes immunoreactive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The maximal effect was observed at 50 mM [K+](o), and further increases of [K+](o) did not increase the extension of GFAP- immunoreactive processes. The effect was observed as early as 10 min after increasing [K+](o), was independent of new protein synthesis, and was reversible, reaching control conditions by 15 h after resetting [K+](o) to physiological levels. Gonadal hormones and neurosteroids had prominent and variable effects on the stimulatory influence of high [K+](o) on astroglia morphology. At physiological [K+](o), 17β-estradiol and pregnenolone, as well as its sulfate derivative, increased the extension of GFAP- immunoreactive processes. However, at high [K+](o), testosterone, pregnenolone, and dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulfate derivative decreased the extension of GFAP-immunoreactive processes. Effects of gonadal hormones and neurosteroids were blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. These results suggest that non-genomic effects of high [K+](o) on glial cells interact with genomic effects of steroids to modulate astroglia morphology.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-1136(199612)18:4<293::AID-GLIA4>3.0.CO;2-Z
issn: 0894-1491
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