Astrocyte-neuron signaling in the mesolimbic dopamine system: the hidden stars of dopamine signaling

Michelle Corkrum, Alfonso Araque

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Astrocytes are fundamental components of brain information processing and possess the ability to respond to synaptic signaling with increases in cytoplasmic calcium and modulate neuronal activity with the subsequent release of neuroactive transmitters. Dopamine signaling is essential for brain physiology and pathology, participating in learning and memory, motor control, neurological diseases, and psychiatric diseases, and astrocytes are emerging as a key cellular target of dopamine signaling. The present review will examine evidence revealing that astrocytes respond to dopamine and modulate information processing in the primary brain regions implicated in the mesolimbic dopamine system. Astrocytes exhibit circuit-specific modulation of neuronal networks and have the potential to serve as a therapeutic target for interventions designed for dopamine pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1864-1872
Number of pages9
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health-NIDA (F30DA042510) to MC, National Institutes of Health-MH (R01MH119355) to AA, National Institutes of Health-NINDS (R01NS097312) to AA, and National Institutes of Health-NIDA (R01DA048822) to AA. The authors declare no competing interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.


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