Author(s): Bernstein M, Lyons SA, Mller T, Kettenmann H
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Abstract We addressed the question of whether glial cells in intact white matter tracts express neurotransmitter receptors and we used Ca+2 signalling as a probe to detect the receptor activation. Corpus callosum slices from postnatal mice were bulk-loaded with the Ca+2-sensitive fluorescent dye fluo-3, and confocal microscopy was used to measure Ca+2 transients in response to neuroligands. Glial cell bodies were intensely dye-loaded and could be discriminated from the diffuse fluorescence of axons. Subpopulations of glial cells from slices obtained at postnatal days 3 to 7 responded with Ca+2 signals to ATP, glutamate, histamine, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin, angiotensin II, bradykinin, and substance P. These subpopulations showed a distinct overlap; cells which were responsive to substance P always showed Ca+2 signalling in response to histamine, ATP, GABA and high K+ (membrane depolarization). GABA-responsive cells almost always showed a [Ca+2]i increase after membrane depolarization. In brain slices from postnatal day 11 to 18 animals, the Ca+2 responses were evident for glutamate, ATP, and norepinephrine, while GABA, substance P, serotonin, histamine, or angiotensin II rarely elicited a response. This study demonstrates that white matter glial cells in slices exhibit a large repertoire of neurotransmitter responses linked to Ca+2 signalling and that these receptor systems are differentially distributed on sub-populations of glial cells.
This article was published in J Neurosci Res
and referenced in Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence