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Long-term in vivo calcium imaging of astrocytes reveals distinct cellular compartment responses to sensory stimulation


Stobart, Jillian L; Ferrari, Kim David; Barrett, Matthew J P; Stobart, Michael J; Looser, Zoe; Saab, Aiman S; Weber, Bruno (2016). Long-term in vivo calcium imaging of astrocytes reveals distinct cellular compartment responses to sensory stimulation. Cerebral Cortex:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Localized, heterogeneous calcium transients occur throughout astrocytes, but the characteristics and long-term stability of these signals, particularly in response to sensory stimulation, remain unknown. Here, we used a genetically encoded calcium indicator and an activity-based image analysis scheme to monitor astrocyte calcium activity in vivo. We found that different subcellular compartments (processes, somata, and endfeet) displayed distinct signaling characteristics. Closer examination of individual signals showed that sensory stimulation elevated the number of specific types of calcium peaks within astrocyte processes and somata, in a cortical layer-dependent manner, and that the signals became more synchronous upon sensory stimulation. Although mice genetically lacking astrocytic IP3R-dependent calcium signaling (Ip3r2−/−) had fewer signal peaks, the response to sensory stimulation was sustained, suggesting other calcium pathways are also involved. Long-term imaging of astrocyte populations revealed that all compartments reliably responded to stimulation over several months, but that the location of the response within processes may vary. These previously unknown characteristics of subcellular astrocyte calcium signals provide new insights into how astrocytes may encode local neuronal circuit activity.

Abstract

Localized, heterogeneous calcium transients occur throughout astrocytes, but the characteristics and long-term stability of these signals, particularly in response to sensory stimulation, remain unknown. Here, we used a genetically encoded calcium indicator and an activity-based image analysis scheme to monitor astrocyte calcium activity in vivo. We found that different subcellular compartments (processes, somata, and endfeet) displayed distinct signaling characteristics. Closer examination of individual signals showed that sensory stimulation elevated the number of specific types of calcium peaks within astrocyte processes and somata, in a cortical layer-dependent manner, and that the signals became more synchronous upon sensory stimulation. Although mice genetically lacking astrocytic IP3R-dependent calcium signaling (Ip3r2−/−) had fewer signal peaks, the response to sensory stimulation was sustained, suggesting other calcium pathways are also involved. Long-term imaging of astrocyte populations revealed that all compartments reliably responded to stimulation over several months, but that the location of the response within processes may vary. These previously unknown characteristics of subcellular astrocyte calcium signals provide new insights into how astrocytes may encode local neuronal circuit activity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:24 November 2016
Deposited On:05 Dec 2016 11:12
Last Modified:02 Jun 2017 19:56
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1047-3211
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw366

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