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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Feb 22;431(4):664-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.01.064. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Cell-cell communication induces random spikes of spontaneous calcium oscillations in multi-BV-2 microglial cells.

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The Key Laboratory of Weak-Light Nonlinear Photonics, Ministry of Education, School of Physics and TEDA Applied Physics School, Nankai University, Tianjin 300457, PR China.


As the first and main form of active immune defense in the central nervous system, microglial cells usually exhibit complicated intracellular calcium (Ca²⁺) activity that can regulate the downstream components of signaling cascades. In the present work, spontaneous oscillations of the cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca²⁺]c) in multi-BV-2 microglial cells were observed by video microscopy. These cells exhibited random spikes of Ca²⁺ oscillations. Cross-correlation analysis of the temporal dependence of the oscillations indicated the existence of cell-cell communication mediated by extracellular messengers. Numerical simulations based on a simple mathematical model suggested that these communications could induce random spikes of spontaneous Ca oscillations in the multi-cell system. Short-time imaging analysis of random spikes in different regions of a single cell showed that spontaneous Ca²⁺ oscillations resulted from Ca²⁺ wave generated by other cells as well as from calcium elevation inside the cell. Taken together, our data demonstrate that cell-cell communication existed between the BV-2 microglial cells in vitro and further resulted in the random spikes of spontaneous Ca²⁺ oscillations.

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