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Nat Neurosci. 2001 Aug;4(8):803-12.

Spontaneous astrocytic Ca2+ oscillations in situ drive NMDAR-mediated neuronal excitation.

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1
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, PO Box 911, Cardiff, CF10 3US, Wales, UK.

Abstract

Astrocytes respond to chemical, electrical and mechanical stimuli with transient increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). We now show that astrocytes in situ display intrinsic [Ca2+]i oscillations that are not driven by neuronal activity. These spontaneous astrocytic oscillations can propagate as waves to neighboring astrocytes and trigger slowly decaying NMDA receptor-mediated inward currents in neurons located along the wave path. These findings show that astrocytes in situ can act as a primary source for generating neuronal activity in the mammalian central nervous system.

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PMID:
11477426
DOI:
10.1038/90507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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