Hugues BERRY           

Glutamate regulation of calcium and IP(3) oscillating and pulsating dynamics in astrocytes.

De Pittą M., Goldberg M., Volman V., Berry H., Ben-Jacob E.

Journal Biological Physics 2009, 35: 383-411.

Faculty Comments for the Faculty of 1000 Biology, by G. Dupont, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.

This is one of the few studies to demonstrate, in a quantitative way, the importance of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) synthesis and metabolism in the Ca2+ signalling pathway.
This modelling study provides a rigorous and clear analysis of astrocytic Ca2+ signalling, closely based on experimental data. It clearly demonstrates the implication of InsP3 dynamics in the generation of frequency- and/or amplitude-coded Ca2+ signals. Another very interesting prediction is that fluctuations in the levels of extracellular glutamate could substantially smoothen intracellular Ca2+ oscillations. Given the increasingly recognized implication of glial cells in cognitive functions and brain disorders, such a model will be necessary for a comprehensive understanding of neuronal dynamics.

Genevieve Dupont: Faculty of 1000 Biology, 4 Sep 2009