It is fast emerging that maintaining mitochondrial function is important for regulating astrocyte function, although the specific mechanisms that govern astrocyte mitochondrial trafficking and positioning remain poorly understood. The mitochondrial Rho-GTPase 1 protein (Miro1) regulates mitochondrial trafficking and detachment from the microtubule transport network to control activity-dependent mitochondrial positioning in neurons. However, whether Miro proteins are important for regulating signaling-dependent mitochondrial dynamics in astrocytic processes remains unclear. Using live-cell confocal microscopy of rat organotypic hippocampal slices, we find that enhancing neuronal activity induces transient mitochondrial remodeling in astrocytes, with a concomitant, transient reduction in mitochondrial trafficking, mediated by elevations in intracellular Ca(2+). Stimulating neuronal activity also induced mitochondrial confinement within astrocytic processes in close proximity to synapses. Furthermore, we show that the Ca(2+)-sensing EF-hand domains of Miro1 are important for regulating mitochondrial trafficking in astrocytes and required for activity-driven mitochondrial confinement near synapses. Additionally, activity-dependent mitochondrial positioning by Miro1 reciprocally regulates the levels of intracellular Ca(2+) in astrocytic processes. Thus, the regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) signaling, dependent on Miro1-mediated mitochondrial positioning, could have important consequences for astrocyte Ca(2+) wave propagation, gliotransmission, and ultimately neuronal function.
Keywords: Miro; NMDARs; astrocyte; calcium; mitochondria; mobility.
Copyright © 2015 Stephen et al.