A few months ago, I reported about the role of glia on the mediation of the homeostatic drive for sleep/wake. Glia additionally mediate the neurochemical environment and the immune response after it’s primary purpose: structural support. According to a recent Journal of Neuroscience article, radial glia in the tectal visual areas mediate the visual experience; radial glia interact with synaptic activity during the activation of nitric oxide and other downstream N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors of the visual circuit. It’s no surprise that that activation of NMDA and NO are also critically important to shift behavioral sleep/wake rhythms through light.
Below is a psychedic photomicrograph capturing the activation of radial glia at three different time points, demarcated by color.Totally awesome, dude.