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Sci. Signal., 9 November 2010
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3147tr5]

Visualizing Calcium Signaling in Astrocytes (Movies)

R. Douglas Fields*

*E-mail, fieldsd{at}mail.nih.gov

Description

Movie 1. High-magnification video of calcium signaling in astroctyes. This is a time-lapse video acquired by confocal microscopy of astrocytes from the cerebral cortex of rats communicating spontaneously by calcium signaling in cell culture. The cells contain fluorescent calcium indicators that glow more brightly when the concentration of calcium increases inside the cell. The movie is a time-lapse recording of an experiment approximately 20 min long. Note that calcium is released from internal stores and also enters the cytoplasm through calcium-permeable channels in the cell membrane, and that inter- and intracellular calcium waves are evident during cell signaling in astrocytes. The bright ovals are the cell nuclei, which are approximately 12.5 μm in diameter.

[Play Movie 1 (WMV)] [Play Movie 1 (MOV)]

Technical Details

Format: WMV, MOV

Size: 1.1 MB (WMV), 14 MB (MOV)

Requirements: Windows Media Player (WMV); QuickTime (MOV)

Movie 2. Low-magnification video of calcium signaling in astroctyes. This is a time-lapse video acquired by confocal microscopy of astrocytes from the cerebral cortex of rats communicating spontaneously by calcium signaling in cell culture and showing the response to application of the neurotransmitter glutamate. The cells contain fluorescent calcium indicators that glow more brightly when the concentration of calcium increases inside the cell. Glutamate activates membrane receptors that cause an increase in intracellular calcium (brief flash among all cells in the field), followed by increased signaling activity among astrocytes. This time-lapse movie compresses approximately 20 min of observation. The cell nucleus appears as a bright circle, and waves of calcium are seen sweeping through long, slender cellular processes. The nuclei are about 12.5 μm in diameter.

[Play Movie 2 (WMV)] [Play Movie 2 (MOV)]

Technical Details

Format: WMV; MOV

Size: 2.1 MB (WMV); 30 MB (MOV)

Requirements: Windows Media Player (WMV); QuickTime (MOV)

Movie 3. High-magnification image of calcium signaling in a coculture containing astrocytes and neurons. This is a time-lapse video acquired by confocal microscopy of astrocytes from the cerebral cortex of rats communicating spontaneously by calcium signaling in cell culture and showing the response to electrical stimulation of mouse DRG neurons in the cell culture. The cells contain fluorescent calcium indicators that glow more brightly when the concentration of calcium increases inside the cell. Calcium increases when the axons of the DRG neurons fire electrical impulses. This looks somewhat like lightning bolts part way through the video. The time-lapse movie compresses observations of approximately 15 min. Brighter fluorescence, indicative of calcium signaling, is color-coded into warmer colors. The cell nuclei (red) are approximately 16 μm in diameter.

[Play Movie 3 (WMV)] [Play Movie 3 (MOV)]

Technical Details

Format: WMV; MOV

Size: 1.4 MB (WMV); 10 MB (MOV)

Requirements: Windows Media Player (WMV); QuickTime (MOV)

Limits for Use

Cost: Free

Rights: This material may be downloaded for noncommercial, course-teaching purposes only, provided credit to Science Signaling is included by listing the citation for the Teaching Resource.


Citation: R. D. Fields, Visualizing Calcium Signaling in Astroctyes. Sci. Signal. 3, tr5 (2010).

© 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science


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