Send to

Choose Destination
Neuron. 1992 Jun;8(6):1069-77.

Transmitter release increases intracellular calcium in perisynaptic Schwann cells in situ.

Author information

National Centers of Excellence, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Glial cells isolated from the nervous system are sensitive to neurotransmitters and may therefore be involved in synaptic transmission. The sensitivity of individual perisynaptic Schwann cells to activity of a single synapse was investigated, in situ, at the frog neuromuscular junction by monitoring changes in intracellular Ca2+ in the Schwann cells. Motor nerve stimulation induced an increase in intracellular Ca2+ in these Schwann cells; this increase was greatly reduced when transmitter release was blocked. Furthermore, local application of the cotransmitters acetylcholine and ATP evoked Ca2+ responses even in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. Successive trains of nerve stimuli or applications of transmitters resulted in progressively smaller Ca2+ responses. We conclude that transmitter released during synaptic activity can evoke release of intracellular Ca2+ in perisynaptic Schwann cells. This Ca2+ signal may play a role in the maintenance or modulation of a synapse. These data show that synaptic transmission involves three cellular components with both postsynaptic and glial components responding to transmitter secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center