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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Sep;14(9):593-608. doi: 10.1038/nrn3531. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Nuclear calcium signalling in the regulation of brain function.

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Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Centre for Neurosciences (IZN), University of Heidelberg, INF 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. Hilmar.Bading@


Synaptic activity initiates biochemical processes that have various outcomes, including the formation of memories, increases in neuronal survival and the development of chronic pain and addiction. Virtually all activity-induced, long-lasting adaptations of brain functions require a dialogue between synapses and the nucleus that results in changes in gene expression. Calcium signals that are induced by synaptic activity and propagate into the nucleus are a major route for synapse-to-nucleus communication. Recent findings indicate that diverse forms of neuroadaptation require calcium transients in the nucleus to switch on the necessary genomic programme. Deficits in nuclear calcium signalling as a result of a reduction in synaptic activity or increased extrasynaptic NMDA receptor signalling may underlie the aetiologies of various diseases, including neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction.

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