The importance of neurons in the body coordination of information is of complex activities that could be understand easily. Several researches have been conducted regarding this area of neuronal function and it is known that astrocytes play an integral function in synaptic functions. This paper by Alfonso and Marta (2010) is focused mainly on understanding the main roles of astrocytes in nervous system and its functional properties which operates at intercellular level of glial networks.
It also highlights the components of the neuronal activity and synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previous articles published in the field and various understanding was taking into consideration in the paper. There is several information that are of great importance to the current body of knowledge regarding the field of neuronal network function and also for future studies in the field.
Review of the main parts
This paper starts with the description of the nature of glial cells in the nervous system and then describing those major cells that make up of the glial cells and thus their cellular basis. The authors also consider the main roles of the neurons in transfer and processing of information and also identify that of the glial cells which they highlighted as the more abundant of the two major cells that form the central nervous system.
The author emphasizes more on the influence of astrocytes on the extracellular space structurally and functionally. This was stated as an influence from the role of those glial cells in extracellular environment and this was identified by the authors to be based on the homeostasis process experience of the astrocytes. The authors focused mainly on describing the communicating functions being possessed by astrocytes as they are the neuronal cells that have been neglected mainly when scientist wants to describe the neuronal functions of the neurons. The paper highlighted those communicating functions of those astrocytes and how those function were detected and achieved. It also made it known that those astrocytes plays an integral part of the synaptic function that occur within the nervous system. How the role is being performed by the astrocytes was fully highlighted by the authors and various researches that have been conducted regarding that role were also cited to reinforce the point.
Astrocytes were also discussed to be involved mainly in synaptic functions which were taught previously not to occur. The current views and understanding regarding the synaptic activity now considers those astrocytes not to act passively but actively in the synaptic functions.
This paper when considered fully is of great importance toward the understanding of the roles of astrocytes in neuronal function. This is because of the previous knowledge regarding these cells which most time never considers them much in situation of neuronal activities. Those highlighted information in the paper provides several questions that could be ask as regards to how those roles of astrocytes are being achieved and how those arguments could be proven for future understanding and use.
However, when we take a look at some aspects of the paper it could actually pose several questions regarding the validity of some of the studies and the conclusions that were made by the paper. For instance, it was highlighted by the authors that those astrocytes is now known to act actively and not just passively in neuronal function but it has not been fully explained how those full activity was being achieved by the astrocytes.
Taking a review of those considerations by the articles, it can be fully accepted that glial cells especially astrocytes forms an integral role in neuronal network functions although they tend to perform some roles which are not just passive homeostatic activities as it was understood previously.
An important aspect of this paper is that is not too complex for the readers to understand because of the simplicity of the construction of the information that is being provided. It’s also more understandable when we consider the use of previous studies by the authors. This is because current researches were cited in the paper and those papers are more relevant to the goal of the paper.
It could be stated that the article is good simply because of the goal of the articles, the mode of highlighting the major points and the review of previous articles that are relevant to the goal and purpose of the paper. The only aspect of the paper that can be considered poor is that of the conclusion of the function of the astrocytes without the full understanding of the link and role in neuronal function.
Considering all the aspect of this paper, I would recommend it for current and future use because of the goal of the paper, the highlighted study result identify regarding the astrocytes and the use of previous researches regarding the role of astrocytes in neuronal function.
Alfonso, A. & Marta, N., (2010). Glial cells in neuronal network function. The Royal Society. Biological Sciences.
Retrieved October 27, 2010 from rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org