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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2006 Jul;27(7):773-80.

Glial calcium signaling in physiology and pathophysiology.

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  • 1Faculty of Life Sciences, the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


Neuronal-glial circuits underlie integrative processes in the nervous system. Function of glial syncytium is, to a very large extent, regulated by the intracellular calcium signaling system. Glial calcium signals are triggered by activation of multiple receptors, expressed in glial membrane, which regulate both Ca2+ entry and Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum also endows glial cells with intracellular excitable media, which is able to produce and maintain long-ranging signaling in a form of propagating Ca2+ waves. In pathological conditions, calcium signals regulate glial response to injury, which might have both protective and detrimental effects on the nervous tissue.

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