It's always a question to me when I model a neural network, "what determines the neuron's properties". I just set them constant based on experimental and/or theoretical considerations. The computational neurogenetics approach puts a genetic network within each neuron so that some underlying network produces the neuron's electrophysiological properties (as a function of time and/or 'environment' now instead of constant), but astrocytes have an interesting electrophysiological relationship with neurons already through gap junctions, now we have another important member of the network, rather than as a sub-network.
I wonder how many studies that use gap junction openers/closers are ignorantly affecting neuro-glial interactions (rather than neuro-neuro reactions that are generally reported).
Here's the doi and such:
De Pittą M, Volman V, Berry H, Ben-Jacob E (2011) A Tale of Two Stories: Astrocyte Regulation of Synaptic Depression and Facilitation. PLoS Comput Biol 7(12): e1002293. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002293