In contrast to some other neuronal populations, for example hippocampal or cortical pyramidal neurons, mechanisms of synaptic integration and transmitter release in central neurons that contain noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5HT) are not well understood. These cells, crucial for a wide range of autonomic and behavioural processes, have long un-myelinated axons with hundreds of varicosities where transmitters are synthesized and released. Both seem to signal mostly in 'volume transmission' mode. Very little is known about the rules that apply to this type of transmission in the brain and the factors that regulate the release of NA and 5HT. We discuss some of our published studies and more recent experiments in which viral vectors were used to investigate the physiology of these neuronal populations. We also focus on currently unresolved issues concerning the mechanism of volume transmission by NA and 5HT in the brain. We suggest that clarifying the role of astroglia in this process could be essential for our understanding of central noradrenergic and 5HT signalling.
|Translated title of the contribution||The use of viral gene transfer in studies of brainstem noradrenergic and serotonergic neurons|
|Pages (from-to)||2565 - 2576|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2009|