Microglial Calcium Signaling is Attuned to Neuronal Activity

Anthony D. Umpierre, Lauren L. Bystrom, Yanlu Ying, Yong U. Liu, Long Jun Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microglial calcium signaling underlies a number of key physiological processes in situ, but has not been studied in vivo in an awake animal where neuronal function is preserved. Using multiple GCaMP6 variants targeted to microglia, we assessed how microglial calcium signaling responds to alterations in neuronal activity across a wide physiological range. We find that only a small subset of microglial somata and processes exhibited spontaneous calcium transients. However, hyperactive and hypoactive shifts in neuronal activity trigger increased microglial process calcium signaling, often concomitant with process extension. On the other hand, changes in somatic calcium activity are only observed days after severe seizures. Our work reveals that microglia have highly distinct microdomain signaling, and that processes specifically respond to bi-directional shifts in neuronal activity through calcium signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Dec 16 2019


  • Calcium Imaging
  • GCaMP
  • Isoflurane
  • Kainate
  • Microglia
  • Neuronal Activity
  • Status Epilepticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microglial Calcium Signaling is Attuned to Neuronal Activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this