Disentangling calcium-driven astrocyte physiology

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Apr;16(4):226-33. doi: 10.1038/nrn3878. Epub 2015 Mar 11.


Astrocytes seem to rely on relatively sluggish and spatially blurred Ca(2+) waves to communicate with fast and point-precise neural circuits. This apparent discrepancy could, however, reflect our current inability to understand the microscopic mechanisms involved. Difficulties in detecting and interpreting astrocyte Ca(2+) signals may have led to some prominent controversies in the field. Here, we argue that a deeper understanding of astrocyte physiology requires a qualitative leap in our experimental and analytical strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Humans