Astrocytes can affect animal behavior by regulating tripartite synaptic transmission, yet their influence on affective behavior remains largely unclear. Here we showed that hippocampal astrocyte calcium activity reflects mouse affective state during virtual elevated plus maze test using two-photon calcium imaging in vivo. Furthermore, optogenetic hippocampal astrocyte activation elevating intracellular calcium induced anxiolytic behaviors in astrocyte-specific channelrhodopsin 2 (ChR2) transgenic mice (hGFAP-ChR2 mice). As underlying mechanisms, we found ATP released from the activated hippocampal astrocytes increased excitatory synaptic transmission in dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells, which exerted anxiolytic effects. Our data uncover a role of hippocampal astrocytes in modulating mice anxiety-like behaviors by regulating ATP-mediated synaptic homeostasis in hippocampal DG granule cells. Thus, manipulating hippocampal astrocytes activity can be a therapeutic strategy to treat anxiety.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Samsung Science & Technology Foundation (SSTF-BA1502-13) and the National Research Foundation (NRF-2016R1A6A3A11931502 and 2021R1A4A1021594).
© 2022, The Author(s).