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Cell Rep. 2014 Jul 10;8(1):311-8. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.05.056. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

In vivo visualization of subtle, transient, and local activity of astrocytes using an ultrasensitive Ca(2+) indicator.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
2
Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Keio University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.
3
Neurobiology Section and Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, 92093-0357, USA.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8574, Japan.
5
Genome Information Research Center, Osaka University, Suita 565-0871, Japan.
6
Support Center for Advanced Medical Sciences, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.
7
Division of Interdisciplinary Medical Science, Center for Neuroscience, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.
8
The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, Ibaraki 567-0047, Japan.
9
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. Electronic address: iino@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp.
10
Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Keio University, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan. Electronic address: kftanaka@a8.keio.jp.

Abstract

Astrocytes generate local calcium (Ca(2+)) signals that are thought to regulate their functions. Visualization of these signals in the intact brain requires an imaging method with high spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we describe such a method using transgenic mice expressing the ultrasensitive ratiometric Ca(2+) indicator yellow Cameleon-Nano 50 (YC-Nano50) in astrocytes. In these mice, we detected a unique pattern of Ca(2+) signals. These occur spontaneously, predominantly in astrocytic fine processes, but not the cell body. Upon sensory stimulation, astrocytes initially responded with Ca(2+) signals at fine processes, which then propagated to the cell body. These observations suggest that astrocytic fine processes function as a high-sensitivity detector of neuronal activities. Thus, the method provides a useful tool for studying the activity of astrocytes in brain physiology and pathology.

PMID:
24981861
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.05.056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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