Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) triggers Ca2+ responses in cultured astrocytes and in Bergmann glial cells from cerebellar slices

Stefano Morara, Li Ping Wang, Vitaly Filippov, Ian M. Dickerson, Fabio Grohovaz, Luciano Provini, Helmut Kettenmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is transiently expressed in cerebellar climbing fibers during development while its receptor is mainly expressed in astrocytes, in particular Bergmann glial cells. Here, we analyzed the effects of CGRP on astrocytic calcium signaling. Mouse cultured astrocytes from cerebellar or cerebral cortex as well as Bergmann glial cells from acutely isolated cerebellar slices were loaded with the Ca2+ sensor Fura-2. CGRP triggered transient increases in intracellular Ca 2+ in astrocytes in culture as well as in acute slices. Responses were observed in the concentration range of 1 nm to 1 mm, in both the cell body and its processes. The calcium transients were dependent on release from intracellular stores as they were blocked by thapsigargin but not by the absence of extracellular calcium. In addition, after CGRP application a further delayed transient increase in calcium activity could be observed. Finally, cerebellar astrocytes from neonatal mice expressed receptor component protein, a component of the CGRP receptor, as revealed by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. It is thus proposed that the CGRP-containing afferent fibers in the cerebellum (the climbing fibers) modulate calcium in astrocytes by releasing the neuropeptide during development and hence possibly influence the differentiation of Purkinje cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-2220
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Differentiation
  • Mouse
  • Neuron-glia transmission
  • Receptor
  • Receptor component protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) triggers Ca<sup>2+</sup> responses in cultured astrocytes and in Bergmann glial cells from cerebellar slices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this