Neuronal soma-satellite glial cell interactions in sensory ganglia and the participation of purinergic receptors

Yanping Gu, Yong Chen, Xiaofei Zhang, Guang Wen Li, Congying Wang, Li Yen Mae Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


It has been known for some time that the somata of neurons in sensory ganglia respond to electrical or chemical stimulation and release transmitters in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The function of the somatic release has not been well delineated. A unique characteristic of the ganglia is that each neuronal soma is tightly enwrapped by satellite glial cells (SGCs). The somatic membrane of a sensory neuron rarely makes synaptic contact with another neuron. As a result, the influence of somatic release on the activity of adjacent neurons is likely to be indirect and/or slow. Recent studies of neuron-SGC interactions have demonstrated that ATP released from the somata of dorsal root ganglion neurons activates SGCs. They in turn exert complex excitatory and inhibitory modulation of neuronal activity. Thus, SGCs are actively involved in the processing of afferent information. In this review, we summarize our understanding of bidirectional communication between neuronal somata and SGCs in sensory ganglia and its possible role in afferent signaling under normal and injurious conditions. The participation of purinergic receptors is emphasized because of their dominant roles in the communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalNeuron Glia Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • PX receptor
  • Somatic ATP release
  • cytokine release
  • dorsal root ganglia
  • pathological nociception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuronal soma-satellite glial cell interactions in sensory ganglia and the participation of purinergic receptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this