Ethanol is the most common drug of abuse. It exerts its behavioral effects by acting on widespread neural circuits; however, its impact on glial cells is less understood. We show that Drosophila perineurial glia are critical for ethanol tolerance, a simple form of behavioral plasticity. The perineurial glia form the continuous outer cellular layer of the blood-brain barrier and are the interface between the brain and the circulation. Ethanol tolerance development requires the A kinase anchoring protein Akap200 specifically in perineurial glia. Akap200 tightly coordinates protein kinase A, actin, and calcium signaling at the membrane to control tolerance. Furthermore, ethanol causes a structural remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton and perineurial membrane topology in an Akap200-dependent manner, without disrupting classical barrier functions. Our findings reveal an active molecular signaling process in the cells at the blood-brain interface that permits a form of behavioral plasticity induced by ethanol.
13 February 2018
Volume (issue) pages:
22 (7) 1647-1656
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