Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Time filter

Source Type

Zorec R.,Celica Biomedical | Zorec R.,University of Ljubljana | Parpura V.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Verkhratsky A.,University of Manchester | And 3 more authors.
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2016

The neocortex represents one of the largest estates of the human brain. This structure comprises ~30–40 billions of neurones and even more of non-neuronal cells. Astrocytes, highly heterogeneous homoeostatic glial cells, are fundamental for housekeeping of the brain and contribute to information processing in neuronal networks. Gray matter astrocytes tightly enwrap synapses, contact blood vessels and, naturally, are also in contact with the extracellular space, where convection of fluid takes place. Thus astrocytes receive signals from several distinct extracellular domains and can get excited by numerous mechanisms, which regulate cytosolic concentration of second messengers, such as Ca2+ and cAMP. Excited astrocytes often secrete diverse substances (generally referred to as gliosignalling molecules) that include classical neurotransmitters such as glutamate and ATP or neuromodulators such as d-serine or neuropeptides. Astrocytic secretion occurs through several mechanisms: by diffusion through membrane channels, by translocation via plasmalemmal transporters or by vesicular exocytosis. Vesicular release of gliosignalling molecules appears fundamentally similar to that operating in neurones, since it depends on the SNARE proteins-dependent merger of the vesicle membrane with the plasmalemma. However, the coupling between the stimulus and astroglial vesicular secretion is at least one order of magnitude slower than that in neurones. Here we review mechanisms of astrocytic excitability and the molecular, anatomical and physiological properties of vesicular apparatus mediating the release of gliosignalling molecules in health and in the neurodegenerative pathology. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Vardjan N.,Celica Biomedical | Vardjan N.,University of Ljubljana | Verkhratsky A.,Celica Biomedical | Verkhratsky A.,University of Ljubljana | And 4 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2015

Vesicles are small intracellular organelles that are fundamental for constitutive housekeeping of the plasmalemma, intercellular transport, and cell-to-cell communications. In astroglial cells, traffic of vesicles is associated with cell morphology, which determines the signaling potential and metabolic support for neighboring cells, including when these cells are considered to be used for cell transplantations or for regulating neurogenesis. Moreover, vesicles are used in astrocytes for the release of vesicle-laden chemical messengers. Here we review the properties of membrane-bound vesicles that store gliotransmitters, endolysosomes that are involved in the traffic of plasma membrane receptors, and membrane transporters. These vesicles are all linked to pathological states, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, neuroinflammation, trauma, edema, and states in which astrocytes contribute to developmental disorders. In multiple sclerosis, for example, fingolimod, a recently introduced drug, apparently affects vesicle traffic and gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, indicating that this process may well be used as a new pathophysiologic target for the development of new therapies. © 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp.


Vardjan N.,Celica Biomedical | Vardjan N.,University of Ljubljana | Zorec R.,Celica Biomedical | Zorec R.,University of Ljubljana
Neurochemical Research | Year: 2015

During neural activity, neurotransmitters released at synapses reach neighbouring cells, such as astrocytes. These get excited via numerous mechanisms, including the G protein coupled receptors that regulate the cytosolic concentration of second messengers, such as Ca2+ and cAMP. The stimulation of these pathways leads to feedback modulation of neuronal activity and the activity of other cells by the release of diverse substances, gliosignals that include classical neurotransmitters such as glutamate, ATP, or neuropeptides. Gliosignal molecules are released from astrocytes through several distinct molecular mechanisms, for example, by diffusion through membrane channels, by translocation via plasmalemmal transporters, or by vesicular exocytosis. Vesicular release regulated by a stimulus-mediated increase in cytosolic second messengers involves a SNARE-dependent merger of the vesicle membrane with the plasmalemma. The coupling between the stimulus and vesicular secretion of gliosignals in astrocytes is not as tight as in neurones. This is considered an adaptation to regulate homeostatic processes in a slow time domain as is the case in the endocrine system (slower than the nervous system), hence glial functions constitute the gliocrine system. This article provides an overview of the mechanisms of excitability, involving Ca2+ and cAMP, where the former mediates phasic signalling and the latter tonic signalling. The molecular, anatomic, and physiologic properties of the vesicular apparatus mediating the release of gliosignals is presented. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


PubMed | University of Alabama at Birmingham, Celica BIOMEDICAL, Ikerbasque and University of Ljubljana
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Glia | Year: 2016

In the brain, astrocytes provide metabolic and trophic support to neurones. Failure in executing astroglial homeostatic functions may contribute to the initiation and propagation of diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD), characterized by a progressive loss of neurones over years. Here, we examined whether astrocytes from a mice model of AD isolated in the presymptomatic phase of the disease exhibit alterations in vesicle traffic, vesicular peptide release and purinergic calcium signaling. In cultured astrocytes isolated from a newborn wild-type (wt) and 3xTg-AD mouse, secretory vesicles and acidic endosomes/lysosomes were labeled by transfection with plasmid encoding atrial natriuretic peptide tagged with mutant green fluorescent protein (ANP.emd) and by LysoTracker, respectively. The intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) was monitored with Fluo-2 and visualized by confocal microscopy. In comparison with controls, spontaneous mobility of ANP- and LysoTracker-labeled vesicles was diminished in 3xTg-AD astrocytes; the track length (TL), maximal displacement (MD) and directionality index (DI) were all reduced in peptidergic vesicles and in endosomes/lysosomes (P < 0.001), as was the ATP-evoked attenuation of vesicle mobility. Similar impairment of peptidergic vesicle trafficking was observed in wt rat astrocytes transfected to express mutated presenilin 1 (PS1M146V). The ATP-evoked ANP discharge from single vesicles was less efficient in 3xTg-AD and PS1M146V-expressing astrocytes than in respective wt controls (P < 0.05). Purinergic stimulation evoked biphasic and oscillatory [Ca(2+)]i responses; the latter were less frequent (P < 0.001) in 3xTg-AD astrocytes. Expression of PS1M146V in astrocytes impairs vesicle dynamics and reduces evoked secretion of the signaling molecule ANP; both may contribute to the development of AD.


PubMed | Celica Biomedical and University of Alabama at Birmingham
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Glia | Year: 2016

Astrocytes play an important housekeeping role in the central nervous system. Additionally, as secretory cells, they actively participate in cell-to-cell communication, which can be mediated by membrane-bound vesicles. The gliosignaling molecules stored in these vesicles are discharged into the extracellular space after the vesicle membrane fuses with the plasma membrane. This process is termed exocytosis, regulated by SNARE proteins, and triggered by elevations in cytosolic calcium levels, which are necessary and sufficient for exocytosis in astrocytes. For astrocytic exocytosis, calcium is sourced from the intracellular endoplasmic reticulum store, although its entry from the extracellular space contributes to cytosolic calcium dynamics in astrocytes. Here, we discuss calcium management in astrocytic exocytosis and the properties of the membrane-bound vesicles that store gliosignaling molecules, including the vesicle fusion machinery and kinetics of vesicle content discharge. In astrocytes, the delay between the increase in cytosolic calcium activity and the discharge of secretions from the vesicular lumen is orders of magnitude longer than that in neurons. This relatively loose excitation-secretion coupling is likely tailored to the participation of astrocytes in modulating neural network processing.


PubMed | University of Manchester, Celica Biomedical and University of Alabama at Birmingham
Type: | Journal: Neurochemical research | Year: 2016

The neocortex represents one of the largest estates of the human brain. This structure comprises ~30-40 billions of neurones and even more of non-neuronal cells. Astrocytes, highly heterogeneous homoeostatic glial cells, are fundamental for housekeeping of the brain and contribute to information processing in neuronal networks. Gray matter astrocytes tightly enwrap synapses, contact blood vessels and, naturally, are also in contact with the extracellular space, where convection of fluid takes place. Thus astrocytes receive signals from several distinct extracellular domains and can get excited by numerous mechanisms, which regulate cytosolic concentration of second messengers, such as Ca


PubMed | Celica Biomedical
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell transplantation | Year: 2015

Vesicles are small intracellular organelles that are fundamental for constitutive housekeeping of the plasmalemma, intercellular transport, and cell-to-cell communications. In astroglial cells, traffic of vesicles is associated with cell morphology, which determines the signaling potential and metabolic support for neighboring cells, including when these cells are considered to be used for cell transplantations or for regulating neurogenesis. Moreover, vesicles are used in astrocytes for the release of vesicle-laden chemical messengers. Here we review the properties of membrane-bound vesicles that store gliotransmitters, endolysosomes that are involved in the traffic of plasma membrane receptors, and membrane transporters. These vesicles are all linked to pathological states, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, neuroinflammation, trauma, edema, and states in which astrocytes contribute to developmental disorders. In multiple sclerosis, for example, fingolimod, a recently introduced drug, apparently affects vesicle traffic and gliotransmitter release from astrocytes, indicating that this process may well be used as a new pathophysiologic target for the development of new therapies.


PubMed | Celica Biomedical
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neurochemical research | Year: 2015

During neural activity, neurotransmitters released at synapses reach neighbouring cells, such as astrocytes. These get excited via numerous mechanisms, including the G protein coupled receptors that regulate the cytosolic concentration of second messengers, such as Ca(2+) and cAMP. The stimulation of these pathways leads to feedback modulation of neuronal activity and the activity of other cells by the release of diverse substances, gliosignals that include classical neurotransmitters such as glutamate, ATP, or neuropeptides. Gliosignal molecules are released from astrocytes through several distinct molecular mechanisms, for example, by diffusion through membrane channels, by translocation via plasmalemmal transporters, or by vesicular exocytosis. Vesicular release regulated by a stimulus-mediated increase in cytosolic second messengers involves a SNARE-dependent merger of the vesicle membrane with the plasmalemma. The coupling between the stimulus and vesicular secretion of gliosignals in astrocytes is not as tight as in neurones. This is considered an adaptation to regulate homeostatic processes in a slow time domain as is the case in the endocrine system (slower than the nervous system), hence glial functions constitute the gliocrine system. This article provides an overview of the mechanisms of excitability, involving Ca(2+) and cAMP, where the former mediates phasic signalling and the latter tonic signalling. The molecular, anatomic, and physiologic properties of the vesicular apparatus mediating the release of gliosignals is presented.

Loading Celica Biomedical collaborators
Loading Celica Biomedical collaborators