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Differential dendritic Ca2+ signalling in young and mature hippocampal granule cells

By Gabriella Stocca, Christoph Schmidt-Hieber and Josef Bischofberger


Neuronal activity is critically important for development and plasticity of dendrites, axons and synaptic connections. Although Ca2+ is an important signal molecule for these processes, not much is known about the regulation of the dendritic Ca2+ concentration in developing neurons. Here we used confocal Ca2+ imaging to investigate dendritic Ca2+ signalling in young and mature hippocampal granule cells, identified by the expression of the immature neuronal marker polysialated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM). Using the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye OGB-5N, we found that both young and mature granule cells showed large action-potential evoked dendritic Ca2+ transients with similar amplitude of ∼200 nm, indicating active backpropagation of action potentials. However, the decay of the dendritic Ca2+ concentration back to baseline values was substantially different with a decay time constant of 550 ms in young versus 130 ms in mature cells, leading to a more efficient temporal summation of Ca2+ signals during theta-frequency stimulation in the young neurons. Comparison of the peak Ca2+ concentration and the decay measured with different Ca2+ indicators (OGB-5N, OGB-1) in the two populations of neurons revealed that the young cells had an ∼3 times smaller endogenous Ca2+-binding ratio (∼75 versus∼220) and an ∼10 times slower Ca2+ extrusion rate (∼170 s−1versus∼1800 s−1). These data suggest that the large dendritic Ca2+ signals due to low buffer capacity and slow extrusion rates in young granule cells may contribute to the activity-dependent growth and plasticity of dendrites and new synaptic connections. This will finally support differentiation and integration of young neurons into the hippocampal network

Topics: Symposium Section: Related Papers
Publisher: Blackwell Science Inc
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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