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Neuroscientist. 2004 Feb;10(1):12-7.

Extracellular calcium depletion in synaptic transmission.

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National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Child and Human Development, Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis in the extracellular space plays an important role in neuronal function. Several modeling studies and recent measurements have demonstrated that modest action potential or synaptic activity can result in a significant reduction in extracellular calcium ([Ca]o(2+)). Changes in [Ca]o(2+) can regulate intracellular signaling enzymes, such as Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and influence neuronal function at synaptic and nonsynaptic sites. The change in [Ca]o(2+) can affect several types of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors and activate a Ca(2+)-sensitive receptor in neuronal membranes. Depletion of [Ca]o(2+) may function as an activity-dependent extracellular messenger that regulates nervous system function during development, learning, and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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