Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New methods to explore astrocyte effects on brain function

Date:
April 29, 2013
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
A new study presents new methods to evaluate how astrocytes contribute to brain function, paving the way for future exploration of these important brain cells at unprecedented levels of detail.

This image shows cytosolic GCaMP3 expressed in astrocytes in the hippocampus of adult mice. A JGP study presents new methods to evaluate how astrocytes contribute to brain function and paves the way for future exploration of these important brain cells.
Credit: Shigetomi, E., et al. 2013. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201210949

A study in The Journal of General Physiology presents new methods to evaluate how astrocytes contribute to brain function, paving the way for future exploration of these important brain cells at unprecedented levels of detail.

Related Articles


Astrocytes -- the most abundant cell type in the human brain -- play crucial roles in brain physiology, which may include modulating synaptic activity and regulating local blood flow. Existing research tools can be used to monitor calcium signals associated with interactions between astrocytes and neurons or blood vessels. Until now, however, astrocytic calcium signals have been investigated mainly in their somata (cell bodies) and large processes, rather than in distal fine processes close to neuronal synapses or the endfeet that surround blood vessels. Previous studies have also mainly investigated immature specimens rather than mature brain cells.

Now, a team of California researchers provides detailed methods to visualize calcium signals throughout entire astrocytes in hippocampal slices from adult mice. The team observed numerous spontaneous localized calcium signals throughout the entire astrocyte, including the branchlets and endfeet. Their results indicated that calcium signals in endfeet were independent of those in somata and occurred more frequently. In addition to the specific findings, their methods can be used in future studies to advance our understanding of the physiology of astrocytes and their interactions with neurons and the microvasculature of the brain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. E. Shigetomi, E. A. Bushong, M. D. Haustein, X. Tong, O. Jackson-Weaver, S. Kracun, J. Xu, M. V. Sofroniew, M. H. Ellisman, B. S. Khakh. Imaging calcium microdomains within entire astrocyte territories and endfeet with GCaMPs expressed using adeno-associated viruses. The Journal of General Physiology, 2013; 141 (5): 633 DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201210949
  2. E. M. Adler. Tasting the bitter and the sweet, honeybee memories, and visualizing calcium throughout entire astrocytes. The Journal of General Physiology, 2013; 141 (5): 511 DOI: 10.1085/jgp.201311002

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "New methods to explore astrocyte effects on brain function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429164917.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2013, April 29). New methods to explore astrocyte effects on brain function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429164917.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "New methods to explore astrocyte effects on brain function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429164917.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins