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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1254:73-85. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2152-2_6.

Calcium imaging in neuron cell death.

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Instituto de Biología y Genética Molecular (IBGM), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas y Universidad de Valladolid, c/ Sanz y Forés 3, Valladolid, 47003, Spain.


Intracellular Ca2+ is involved in control of a large variety of cell functions including apoptosis and neuron cell death. For example, intracellular Ca2+ overload is critical in neuron cell death induced by excitotoxicity. Thus, single cell monitoring of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt ) in neurons concurrently with apoptosis and neuron cell death is widely required. Procedures for culture and preparation of primary cultures of hippocampal rat neurons and fluorescence imaging of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in Fura2/AM -loaded neurons are described. We also describe a method for apoptosis detection by immunofluorescence imaging. Finally, a simple method for concurrent measurements of [Ca2+]cyt and apoptosis in the same neurons is described.

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