The schwann cells of the peripheral nervous system are indispensable for the formation, maintenance, and modulation of synapses over the life cycle. They not only recognize neuron-glia signaling molecules, but also secrete gliotransmitters. Through these processes, they regulate neuronal excitability and thus the release of neurotransmitters from the nerve terminal at the neuromuscular junction. Gliotransmitters strongly affect nerve communication, and their secretion is mainly triggered by synchronized Ca2+ signaling, implicating Ca2+ waves in synapse function. Reciprocally, neurotransmitters released during synaptic activity can evoke increases in intracellular Ca2+ levels. A reconsideration of the interplay between the two main types of cells in the nervous system is due, as the concept of nervous system activity comprising only neuron-neuron and neuron-muscle action has become untenable. A more precise understanding of the roles of schwann cells in nerve-muscle signaling is required.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry