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Astrocytes modulate thapsigargin-induced changes in calcium concentration and neuronal survival.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Science Council, Republic of China. Part B, Life sciences
Publication Date
Volume
24
Issue
2
Pages
81–87
Identifiers
PMID: 10809085
Source
Medline

Abstract

When mature cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) grown in high K+ (25 mM K+, HK)-serum containing medium are subjected to the HK/serum deprivation, they are destined for neuronal death. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the roles of endoplasmic reticular (ER) Ca2+-store and co-cultured astrocytes in HK/serum deprivation induced neuronal death. Thapsigargin (TG), an inhibitor of ER Ca2+-ATPase was simultaneously applied with normal K+ (5 mM K+, NK) serum free medium, and its effects on neuronal death in either astrocyte-poor or astrocyterich culture were examined. By means of the fura-2 microfluorimetric technique, we monitored the changes of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, [Ca2+]i, associated with neuronal death under various treatments. The results obtained showed that in astrocyte-poor cultures of mature CGN (10 days in vitro, DIV), the basal level of [Ca2+]i markedly decreased from 184 +/- 5 to 89.7 +/- 5 nM 24 h after HK/serum deprivation. Although treatment with TG slightly increased the [Ca2+]i to 117.6 +/- 4 nM, the survival rate of the neurons was even worse; it was reduced from 49 +/- 4% to 28 +/- 2%. In the astrocyte-rich cultures, HK/serum deprivation also caused a profound reduction of neuronal [Ca2+]i, from 166 +/- 3 to 90.2 +/- 6 nM, accompanied by even more serious neuronal death (95.5 +/- 1%). On the other hand, treatment with TG in astrocyterich cultures further lowered the [Ca2+]i to 65 +/- 2 nM but markedly improved the neuronal survival rate from 4.5 +/- 1% to 60 +/- 2% in a concentration-dependent manner. The strong implication of these findings is that ER Ca2+-store and astrocytes participate in modulating the responses of neurons to stress stimulation.

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