Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) triggers Ca2+ responses in cultured astrocytes and in Bergmann glial cells from cerebellar slices


  • S. Morara
  • L.P. Wang
  • V. Filippov
  • I.M. Dickerson
  • F. Grohovaz
  • L. Provini
  • H. Kettenmann


  • European Journal of Neuroscience


  • Eur J Neurosci 28 (11): 2213-2220


  • The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is transiently expressed in cerebellar climbing fibers during development while its receptor is mainly expressed in astrocytes, in particular Bergmann glial cells. Here, we analyzed the effects of CGRP on astrocytic calcium signaling. Mouse cultured astrocytes from cerebellar or cerebral cortex as well as Bergmann glial cells from acutely isolated cerebellar slices were loaded with the Ca(2+) sensor Fura-2. CGRP triggered transient increases in intracellular Ca(2+) in astrocytes in culture as well as in acute slices. Responses were observed in the concentration range of 1 nm to 1 mm, in both the cell body and its processes. The calcium transients were dependent on release from intracellular stores as they were blocked by thapsigargin but not by the absence of extracellular calcium. In addition, after CGRP application a further delayed transient increase in calcium activity could be observed. Finally, cerebellar astrocytes from neonatal mice expressed receptor component protein, a component of the CGRP receptor, as revealed by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. It is thus proposed that the CGRP-containing afferent fibers in the cerebellum (the climbing fibers) modulate calcium in astrocytes by releasing the neuropeptide during development and hence possibly influence the differentiation of Purkinje cells.