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Imaging of Localized Neuronal Calcium Influx

  • Fritjof Helmchen
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)

Abstract

Intracellular Ca2+ controls such diverse processes as growth, cell division, contraction, secretion, and cell death. In neurons Ca2+ influx triggers neurotransmitter release, causes activation of various enzyme cascades, and regulates gene expression (1). Increases in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]) also affect membrane excitability and are involved in synaptic plasticity (2). How does Ca2+ accomplish this multitude of tasks, often within the same cell? A clue to the answer is the spatial segregation of Ca2+ signaling pathways in different cellular compartments (3). This compartmentalization is based on the nonuniform cellular distribution of Ca2+-permeable ion channels, intracellular Ca2+-binding proteins, and Ca2+ pumps. Localized Ca2+ signaling enormously increases the cells’ ability and flexibility to use Ca2+ as an intracellular messenger in many parallel ways.

Keywords

Hair Cell Dendritic Spine Release Site Transduction Channel Diffusible Indicator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fritjof Helmchen
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Computation Research Department,Bell LaboratoriesLucent TechnologiesMurray Hill

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