Abnormal Ca2+ signals in reactive astrocytes as a common cause of brain diseases

Schuichi Koizumi, Eiji Shigetomi, Fumikazu Sano, Kozo Saito, Sun Kwang Kim, Junichi Nabekura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In pathological brain conditions, glial cells become reactive and show a variety of responses. We examined Ca2+ signals in pathological brains and found that reactive astrocytes share abnormal Ca2+ signals, even in different types of diseases. In a neuropathic pain model, astrocytes in the primary sensory cortex became reactive and showed frequent Ca2+ signals, resulting in the production of synaptogenic molecules, which led to misconnections of tactile and pain networks in the sensory cortex, thus causing neuropathic pain. In an epileptogenic model, hippocampal astrocytes also became reactive and showed frequent Ca2+ signals. In an Alexander disease (AxD) model, hGFAP-R239H knock-in mice showed accumulation of Rosenthal fibers, a typical pathological marker of AxD, and excessively large Ca2+ signals. Because the abnormal astrocytic Ca2+ signals observed in the above three disease models are dependent on type II inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3RII), we reanalyzed these pathological events using IP3RII-deficient mice and found that all abnormal Ca2+ signals and pathologies were markedly reduced. These findings indicate that abnormal Ca2+ signaling is not only a consequence but may also be greatly involved in the cause of these diseases. Abnormal Ca2+ signals in reactive astrocytes may represent an underlying pathology common to multiple diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Ca signals
  • Common pathology
  • Reactive astrocytes


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