Large-scale calcium waves traveling through astrocytic networks in vivo

J Neurosci. 2011 Feb 16;31(7):2607-14. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5319-10.2011.

Abstract

Macroscopic changes in cerebral blood flow, such as those captured by functional imaging of the brain, require highly organized, large-scale dynamics of astrocytes, glial cells that interact with both neuronal and cerebrovascular networks. However, astrocyte activity has been studied mainly at the level of individual cells, and information regarding their collective behavior is lacking. In this work, we monitored calcium activity simultaneously from hundreds of mouse hippocampal astrocytes in vivo and found that almost all astrocytes participated en masse in regenerative waves that propagated from cell to cell (referred to here as "glissandi"). Glissandi emerged depending on the neuronal activity and accompanied a reduction in infraslow fluctuations of local field potentials and a decrease in the flow of red blood cells. This novel phenomenon was heretofore overlooked, probably because of the high vulnerability of astrocytes to light damage; glissandi occurred only when observed at much lower laser intensities than previously used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology
  • Aniline Compounds / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Dextrans / metabolism
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / analogs & derivatives
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / metabolism
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Nerve Net / drug effects
  • Nerve Net / metabolism*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Sodium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Xanthenes / metabolism

Substances

  • Aniline Compounds
  • Dextrans
  • Fluo 4
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Sodium Channel Blockers
  • Xanthenes
  • fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • Calcium