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Book Chapter

Imaging of localized neuronal calcium influx


Helmchen,  Fritjof
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Helmchen, F. (2001). Imaging of localized neuronal calcium influx. In A. N. Lopatin, & G. C. Nichols (Eds.), Ion Channel Localization (pp. 327-347). Totowa: Humana Press.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-EBB6-3
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. Increases in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]) also affect membrane excitability and are involved in synaptic plasticity. 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. 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.