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Neuronal Activity-Dependent Activation of Astroglial Calcineurin in Mouse Primary Hippocampal Cultures.

International journal of molecular sciences (2018-10-03)
Dmitry Lim, Lisa Mapelli, Pier Luigi Canonico, Francesco Moccia, Armando A Genazzani
ABSTRACT

Astrocytes respond to neuronal activity by generating calcium signals which are implicated in the regulation of astroglial housekeeping functions and/or in modulation of synaptic transmission. We hypothesized that activity-induced calcium signals in astrocytes may activate calcineurin (CaN), a calcium/calmodulin-regulated protein phosphatase, implicated in neuropathology, but whose role in astroglial physiology remains unclear. We used a lentiviral vector expressing NFAT-EYFP (NY) fluorescent calcineurin sensor and a chemical protocol of LTP induction (cLTP) to show that, in mixed neuron-astrocytic hippocampal cultures, cLTP induced robust NY translocation into astrocyte nuclei and, hence, CaN activation. NY translocation was abolished by the CaN inhibitor FK506, and was not observed in pure astroglial cultures. Using Fura-2 single cell calcium imaging, we found sustained Ca2+ elevations in juxtaneuronal, but not distal, astrocytes. Pharmacological analysis revealed that both the Ca2+ signals and the nuclear NY translocation in astrocytes required NMDA and mGluR5 receptors and depended on extracellular Ca2+ entry via a store-operated mechanism. Our results provide a proof of principle that calcineurin in astrocytes may be activated in response to neuronal activity, thereby delineating a framework for investigating the role of astroglial CaN in the physiology of central nervous system.

MATERIALS
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Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Trypsin-EDTA solution, 0.25%, sterile-filtered, BioReagent, suitable for cell culture, 2.5 g porcine trypsin and 0.2 g EDTA, 4Na per liter of Hanks′ Balanced Salt Solution with phenol red
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Dulbecco′s Modified Eagle′s Medium - high glucose, With 4500 mg/L glucose and sodium bicarbonate, without L-glutamine and sodium pyruvate, liquid, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture, suitable for hybridoma
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N-Methyl-D-aspartic acid, ≥98% (TLC), solid
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Hanks′ Balanced Salt solution, Modified, with sodium bicarbonate, without phenol red, calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate, liquid, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture
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Poly(ethylene glycol), BioUltra, 8,000