Differential calcium signalling in neuronal-glial networks

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2009 Jan 1;14:2004-16. doi: 10.2741/3359.


Calcium ions are the probably the most ancient, the most universal and omnipresent intracellular signalling molecules, which are involved in regulation of a host of cellular functional reactions. In the nervous system Ca2+ signalling is intimately involved in information transfer and integration within neural circuits. Local Ca2+ signals or Ca2+ microdomains control neurotransmitter release; more global Ca2+ signals regulate synaptic strength and accomplish postsynaptic processing. In the glial syncytium Ca2+ ions provide for glial "Ca2+ excitability", convey long-range signalling by means of propagating Ca2+ waves and control the release of gliotransmitters. Differential Ca2+ signals in various elements of neural circuits represent therefore molecular mechanisms of integration in the nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism


  • Neurotransmitter Agents