Transmitter release increases intracellular calcium in perisynaptic schwann cells in situ

Babak S. Jahromi*, Richard Robitaille, Milton P. Charlton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


Glial cells isolated from the nervous system are sensitive to neurotransmitters and may therefore be involved in synaptic transmission. The sensitivity of individual perisynaptic Schwann cells to activity of a single synapse was investigated, in situ, at the frog neuromuscular junction by monitoring changes in intracellular Ca2+ in the Schwann cells. Motor nerve stimulation induced an increase in intracellular Ca2+ in these Schwann cells; this increase was greatly reduced when transmitter release was blocked. Furthermore, local application of the cotransmitters acetylcholine and ATP evoked Ca2+ responses even in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. Successive trains of nerve stimuli or applications of transmitters resulted in progressively smaller Ca2+ reponses. We conclude that transmitter released during synaptic activity can evoke release of intracellular Ca2+ in perisynaptic Schwann cells. This Ca2+ signal may play a role in the maintenance or modulation of a synapse. These data show that synaptic transmission involves three cellular components with both postsynaptic and glial components responding to transmitter secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1077
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Transmitter release increases intracellular calcium in perisynaptic schwann cells in situ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this