Intercellular Ca2+ signaling in primary cultures of glial cells was investigated with digital fluorescence video imaging. Mechanical stimulation of a single cell induced a wave of increased [Ca2+]i that was communicated to surrounding cells. This was followed by asynchronous Ca2+ oscillations in some cells. Similar communicated Ca2+ responses occurred in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, despite an initial decrease in [Ca2+]i in the stimulated cell. Mechanical stimulation in the presence of glutamate induced a typical communicated Ca2+ wave through cells undergoing asynchronous Ca2+ oscillations in response to glutamate. The coexistence of communicated Ca2+ waves and asynchronous Ca2+ oscillations suggests distinct mechanisms for intra- and intercellular Ca2+ signaling. This intercellular signaling may coordinate cooperative glial function.