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Glial calcium signaling in physiology and pathophysiology

Authors: Alexei Verkhratsky

Abstract

Neuronal-glial circuits underlie integrative processes in the nervous system. Function of glial syncytium is, to a very large extent, regulated by the intracellular calcium signaling system. Glial calcium signals are triggered by activation of multiple receptors, expressed in glial membrane, which regulate both Ca2+ entry and Ca2+ release from the endoplasmic reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum also endows glial cells with intracellular excitable media, which is able to produce and maintain long-ranging signaling in a form of propagating Ca2+ waves. In pathological conditions, calcium signals regulate glial response to injury, which might have both protective and detrimental effects on the nervous tissue.
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