Astrocytes adjust the dynamic range of cortical network activity to control modality-specific sensory information processing

Claudia Miguel-Quesada, Marta Zaforas, Salvador Herrera-Pérez, Justin Lines, Elena Fernández-López, Elena Alonso-Calviño, Maria Ardaya, Federico N. Soria, Alfonso Araque, Juan Aguilar, Juliana M. Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cortical neuron-astrocyte communication in response to peripheral sensory stimulation occurs in a topographic-, frequency-, and intensity-dependent manner. However, the contribution of this functional interaction to the processing of sensory inputs and consequent behavior remains unclear. We investigate the role of astrocytes in sensory information processing at circuit and behavioral levels by monitoring and manipulating astrocytic activity in vivo. We show that astrocytes control the dynamic range of the cortical network activity, optimizing its responsiveness to incoming sensory inputs. The astrocytic modulation of sensory processing contributes to setting the detection threshold for tactile and thermal behavior responses. The mechanism of such astrocytic control is mediated through modulation of inhibitory transmission to adjust the gain and sensitivity of responding networks. These results uncover a role for astrocytes in maintaining the cortical network activity in an optimal range to control behavior associated with specific sensory modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112950
JournalCell reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 29 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • astrocyte
  • cortical network activity
  • CP: Cell biology
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • dynamic range
  • sensory information processing
  • sensory specific modalities

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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