..SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Astrocytes play important roles in synaptic transmission by extending fine processes around synapses. In this study, we showed that a single exposure to an acute stress triggered a retraction of lateral/fine processes in mouse cerebellar astrocytes. These astrocytes express GluA1, a glutamate receptor subunit known to lengthen astrocyte processes. We showed that astrocytic structural changes are associated with a reduction of GluA1 protein levels.
This requires activation of β-adrenergic receptors and is triggered by noradrenaline released during stress. We identified adenylyl cyclase 5, an enzyme that elevates cAMP levels, as a downstream effector and found that lowering GluA1 levels depends on CPEB3 proteins that bind to GluA1 mRNA. Therefore, stress regulates GluA1 protein synthesis via an adrenergic/adenylyl cyclase/CPEB3 pathway in astrocytes and remodels their fine processes.