Astrocyte hypertrophy and increased tripartite formation in motor cortex after training
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractEmerging evidence in past decades supports that astrocytes play fundamental roles in
regulating synaptic transmission, thereby influences overall plasticity of neuronal networks.
Despite this potential function of astrocytes, little is known about their role of in the
formation of motor memory in the motor cortex. Based on food pellet reaching task, we
investigated if cortical astrocytes can undergo structural changes during acquisition of motor
skills. We found an increase in arborization in astrocytes of the trained motor cortex. To
substantiate this finding, we performed modified Golgi-­‐Cox staining and confirmed that soma
size of astrocytes was increased after training while the density of the astrocytes was
unchanged. Furthermore, by using electron microscopy we found that astrocytic volume was
increased after motor training. To probe further the possible participation of astrocytes in
training, based on double immunofluorescence staining of synaptophysin, a presynaptic
marker, and phospho-­‐ezrin, which is expressed in peripheral astrocyte process we found that
not only phospho-­‐ezrin was increased in the trained motor cortex but the density of
colocalized puncta was also increased, implicating increased tripartite formation due to
training. Together, our findings suggest that the interaction between neurons and astrocytes
is enhanced with motor training, manifested as hypertrophy of astrocyte occurring along with
increased tripartite formation.

This work is supported by a HKRGC-­‐GRF grant (14167817, 14110418), the Gerald Choa
Neuroscience Centre (7105306)
All Author(s) ListYi‐Nan ZHENG, Xiao‐Feng YANG, Ling‐Ting GENG, Wing-Ho YUNG, Ya KE
Name of ConferenceSFN's 50th Annual Meeting Neuroscience
Start Date of Conference19/10/2019
End Date of Conference23/10/2019
Place of ConferenceChicago, USA
Country/Region of ConferenceUnited States of America
Year2019
Month10
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2020-27-11 at 16:20