Breathe, Breathe via the Glia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1NAp0AC6Ls This research states that astrocytes control breathing through ph-dependent release of ATP (hello acid/alkaline debaters!)
Meanwhile the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism claims that there is a link between glial calcium wave signaling and hypoxia in aging.
According to zmescience.com : There is still some disagreement between researchers regarding interaction between astrocytes and neurons. The big question is if astrocytes can do anything fast enough to influence bodily activity, or if they play a rather more passive role. But this research does seem to be pretty conclusive, despite some skeptics. “The astrocytes are shown here to respond rapidly — within seconds — to a physiological stimulus,” says Brian MacVicar, a cellular neuroscientist from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. “The impact of this paper will convince the most hardened sceptic that astrocytes can change neuronal activity in response to a stimulus and thereby alter a behavioural response.”
They also add: The main problem is interpreting the data from such a study – identifying the signalling mechanism is especially important. What this study has done is observe what happens, but it’s still not fully clear how this mechanism works.