Microdomains for neuron-glia interaction: parallel fiber signaling to Bergmann glial cells


  • J. Grosche
  • V. Matyash
  • T. Moeller
  • A. Verkhratsky
  • A. Reichenbach
  • H. Kettenmann


  • Nature Neuroscience


  • Nat Neurosci 2 (2): 139-143


  • Astrocytes are considered a reticulate network of cells, through which calcium signals can spread easily. In Bergmann glia, astrocytic cells of the cerebellum, we identified subcellular compartments termed 'glial microdomains'. These elements have a complex surface consisting of thin membrane sheets, contain few mitochondria and wrap around synapses. To test for neuronal interaction with these structures, we electrically stimulated parallel fibers. This stimulation increased intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in small compartments within Bergmann glial cell processes similar in size to glial microdomains. Thus, a Bergmann glial cell may consist of hundreds of independent compartments capable of autonomous interactions with the particular group of synapses that they ensheath.