Spontaneous synchronized calcium oscillations in neocortical neurons in the presence of physiological [Mg2+]: Involvement of AMPA/kainate and metabotropic glutamate receptors

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Primary cultures of neocortical neurons exhibit spontaneous Ca 2+ oscillations under zero or low extracellular [Mg2+] conditions. We find that mature murine neocortical neurons cultured for 9 days also produce spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations in the presence of physiological [Mg2+]. These Ca2+ oscillations were action potential mediated inasmuch as tetrodotoxin eliminated their occurrence. AMPA receptors were found to regulate the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations. In contrast, Ca2+ oscillations were independent of activation of L-type Ca2+ channels, and NMDA receptors provided only a minor contribution. Release of intracellular Ca2+ stores was involved in the oscillatory activity since thapsigargin reduced the amplitude and frequency of the oscillations. S-4-carboxyphenylglycine ((S)-4CPG), an antagonist of group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR), also reduced the amplitude of oscillations. In addition, 1-aminocyclopentane-trans-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (trans-ACPD), a group I mGluR agonist, increased the oscillation frequency, suggesting a critical role for mGluR in the generation of Ca2+ oscillations. The mGluR-mediated release of intracellular Ca2+ stores appeared to be mediated by phospholipase C (PLC) since the PLC inhibitor U73122 eliminated the Ca2+ oscillations. These results indicate that Ca2+ oscillations in neocortical cultures in the presence of physiologic [Mg2+] are primarily initiated by excitatory input from AMPA receptors and involve mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores following activation of mGluR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-17
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 23 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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