Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, exhibit a form of excitability based on intracellular Ca2+ variations. These intracellular calcium variations, i.e., oscillations can be evoked by neurotransmitters. The functional consequences of calcium oscillations in astrocytes are poorly understood. Since the level of intracellular calcium ions control glutamate release from astrocytes, we hypothesize that the frequency of calcium oscillations also control the amount of glutamate release from these cells. We will test this hypothesis in Specific Aim I. Calcium-dependent secretion in neurons can be modulated by the protein kinase A (PKA)- and protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent phosphorylation of secretory machinery downstream of calcium. Since astrocytes express the core proteins of the secretory machinery responsible for neuronal secretion, we hypothesize that glutamate release from astrocytes may also be modulated by PKA- and PKC-dependent phosphorylation at the site of secretory machinery. We will test this hypothesis in Specific Aim II. ? Specific Aim I: We will test the hypothesis that glutamate release from astrocytes is controlled by the frequency of calcium oscillations. ? Specific Aim Il: We will test the hypothesis that PKA and PKC modulate calcium-dependent glutamate release from astrocytes. ? This study will provide new and important information on how astrocytes communicate with neurons. Since astrocytes modulate synaptic transmission by releasing glutamate, this new insight into glial action has potential to change the way we think about central nervous system functions and dysfunctions ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Neurodegeneration and Biology of Glia Study Section (NDBG)
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Asanuma, Chiiko
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University of California Riverside
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
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Verkhratsky, Alexei; Rodriguez, Jose J; Parpura, Vladimir (2013) Astroglia in neurological diseases. Future Neurol 8:149-158
Reyes, Reno C; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir (2012) Plasmalemmal Na+/Ca2+ exchanger modulates Ca2+-dependent exocytotic release of glutamate from rat cortical astrocytes. ASN Neuro 4:
Parpura, Vladimir; Verkhratsky, Alexei (2012) Homeostatic function of astrocytes: Ca(2+) and Na(+) signalling. Transl Neurosci 3:334-344
Kapoor, Niren; Lee, William; Clark, Edlira et al. (2011) Interaction of ASIC1 and ENaC subunits in human glioma cells and rat astrocytes. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 300:C1246-59
Malarkey, Erik B; Parpura, Vladimir (2011) Temporal characteristics of vesicular fusion in astrocytes: examination of synaptobrevin 2-laden vesicles at single vesicle resolution. J Physiol 589:4271-300
Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir; Rodriguez, Jose J (2011) Where the thoughts dwell: the physiology of neuronal-glial ""diffuse neural net"". Brain Res Rev 66:133-51
Roman, Jose A; Niedzielko, Tracy L; Haddon, Robert C et al. (2011) Single-walled carbon nanotubes chemically functionalized with polyethylene glycol promote tissue repair in a rat model of spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma 28:2349-62
Reyes, Reno C; Perry, Giselle; Lesort, Mathieu et al. (2011) Immunophilin deficiency augments Ca2+-dependent glutamate release from mouse cortical astrocytes. Cell Calcium 49:23-34
Liu, Wei; Parpura, Vladimir (2010) SNAREs: could they be the answer to an energy landscape riddle in exocytosis? ScientificWorldJournal 10:1258-68
Malarkey, Erik B; Parpura, Vladimir (2010) Carbon nanotubes in neuroscience. Acta Neurochir Suppl 106:337-41

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