Intercellular calcium signaling between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes via gap junctions in culture.

TitleIntercellular calcium signaling between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes via gap junctions in culture.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsParys B, Côté A, Gallo V, De Koninck P, Sík A
Date Published2010 Jun 2
KeywordsAnimals, Animals, Newborn, Astrocytes, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Carbenoxolone, Cells, Cultured, Cerebral Cortex, Gap Junctions, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Lasers, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Oligodendroglia, Quinine

To understand further how oligodendrocytes regulate brain function, the mechanism of communication between oligodendrocytes and other cell types needs to be explored. An important mode of communication between various cell types in the nervous system involves gap junctions. Astroglial cells are extensively connected through gap junctions forming the glial syncytium. Although the presence of gap junctions between oligodendrocytes and astrocytes have been well documented, evidence for gap junction-mediated calcium transfer between these two glial populations is still missing. To measure functional coupling between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes and to test whether this coupling is mediated by gap junctions we used laser photostimulation and monitored Ca(2+) propagation in cultures from transgenic animals in which oligodendrocytes express enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). We show that waves of Ca(2+) spread from astrocytes to oligodendrocytes and that these waves are blocked by the broad-spectrum gap junction blocker carbenoxolone, but not the neuron-specific gap junction blocker quinine. We also show that the spread of Ca(2+) waves between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes is bi-directional. Thus, increase of Ca(2+) concentration in astrocytes triggered by surrounding neuronal activity may feed back onto different neuronal populations through oligodendrocytes.

Alternate JournalNeuroscience
PubMed ID20211698
Grant ListMOP 81105 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada
R01NS045702 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States


Our research endeavors are made possible by the following agencies:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT)Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec   Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) - Conseil de recherche en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG)innovation.caHuman Frontier Science ProgramCanada First Research Excellence FundSentinelle Nord