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Nat Commun. 2016 Mar 22;7:11100. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11100.

Calcium imaging reveals glial involvement in transcranial direct current stimulation-induced plasticity in mouse brain.

Author information

1
RIKEN Brain Science Institute, 2-1 Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.
2
Brain Science Institute, Saitama University, Saitama 338-8570, Japan.
3
Department of Neurophysiology and Neural Repair, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.

Abstract

Transcranical direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a treatment known to ameliorate various neurological conditions and enhance memory and cognition in humans. tDCS has gained traction for its potential therapeutic value; however, little is known about its mechanism of action. Using a transgenic mouse expressing G-CaMP7 in astrocytes and a subpopulation of excitatory neurons, we find that tDCS induces large-amplitude astrocytic Ca(2+) surges across the entire cortex with no obvious changes in the local field potential. Moreover, sensory evoked cortical responses are enhanced after tDCS. These enhancements are dependent on the alpha-1 adrenergic receptor and are not observed in IP3R2 (inositol trisphosphate receptor type 2) knockout mice, in which astrocytic Ca(2+) surges are absent. Together, we propose that tDCS changes the metaplasticity of the cortex through astrocytic Ca(2+)/IP3 signalling.

PMID:
27000523
PMCID:
PMC4804173
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms11100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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