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Sci. Signal., 10 April 2012
Vol. 5, Issue 219, p. pc8
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003064]


Science Signaling Podcast: 10 April 2012

Maiken Nedergaard1, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba2,3, and Annalisa M. VanHook4

1 Division of Glia Disease and Therapeutics, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY 14640, USA.
2 Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.
3 Calcium Oscillation Project, ICORP-SORST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan.
4 Web Editor, Science Signaling, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA.

Abstract: This Podcast features conversations with the authors of two Research Articles published in the 3 April 2012 issue of Science Signaling. Groups led by Maiken Nedergaard and Katsuhiko Mikoshiba published new findings about how calcium signaling in astocytes modulates synaptic activity. Astrocytes are electrically nonexcitable, nonneuronal cells that can generate calcium waves that regulate synaptic activity and local blood flow. Nedergaard’s group found that astrocytes modulated synaptic activity by altering local concentrations of extracellular K+. Mikoshiba’s group reported that calcium signals are generated in the processes of astrocytes independently of the soma (cell body). This compartmentalization of calcium signals suggests that different processes of the same astrocyte may regulate target cells independently of one another and of the soma.

Citation: M. Nedergaard, K. Mikoshiba, A. M. VanHook, Science Signaling Podcast: 10 April 2012. Sci. Signal. 5, pc8 (2012).

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Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882