Calcium signals and the in vitro migration of chick ciliary ganglion cells

Paolo Ariano, Jessica Erriquez, Alessandra Gilardino, Mario Ferraro, Davide Lovisolo, Carla Distasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have studied calcium signals and their role in the migration of neuronal and nonneuronal cells of embryonic chick ciliary ganglion (CG). In vitro, neurons migrate in association with nonneuronal cells to form cellular aggregates. Changes in the modulus of the velocity of the neuron-nonneuronal cell complex were observed in response to treatments that increased or decreased intracellular calcium concentration. In addition, both cell types generated spontaneous calcium activity that was abolished by removal of extracellular calcium. Calcium signals in neurons could be characterized as either spikes or waves. Neuronal spikes were found to be related to action potential generation whereas neuronal waves were due to voltage-independent calcium influx. Nonneuronal cells generated calcium oscillations that were dependent on calcium release from intracellular stores and on voltage-independent calcium influx. Application of thimerosal, a compound that stimulates calcium mobilization from internal stores, increased: (1) the amplitude of spontaneous nonneuronal oscillations; (2) the area of migrating nonneuronal cells; and (3) the velocity of the neuronal-nonneuronal cell complex. We conclude that CG cell migration is a calcium dependent process and that nonneuronal cell calcium oscillations play a key role in the modulation of velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Development
  • Glial cells
  • Neurons
  • Spontaneous calcium activity
  • Thimerosal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium signals and the in vitro migration of chick ciliary ganglion cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this