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Open AccessArticle

Calcium Activity Dynamics Correlate with Neuronal Phenotype at a Single Cell Level and in a Threshold-Dependent Manner

1
Department of Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
2
Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3
Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4
Department of Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
5
Department of Computer Science, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081880
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Calcium Signaling in Human Health and Diseases 2.0)
Calcium is a ubiquitous signaling molecule that plays a vital role in many physiological processes. Recent work has shown that calcium activity is especially critical in vertebrate neural development. Here, we investigated if calcium activity and neuronal phenotype are correlated only on a population level or on the level of single cells. Using Xenopus primary cell culture in which individual cells can be unambiguously identified and associated with a molecular phenotype, we correlated calcium activity with neuronal phenotype on the single-cell level. This analysis revealed that, at the neural plate stage, a high frequency of low-amplitude spiking activity correlates with an excitatory, glutamatergic phenotype, while high-amplitude spiking activity correlates with an inhibitory, GABAergic phenotype. Surprisingly, we also found that high-frequency, low-amplitude spiking activity correlates with neural progenitor cells and that differentiating cells exhibit higher spike amplitude. Additional methods of analysis suggested that differentiating marker tubb2b-expressing cells exhibit relatively persistent and predictable calcium activity compared to the irregular activity of neural progenitor cells. Our study highlights the value of using a range of thresholds for analyzing calcium activity data and underscores the importance of employing multiple methods to characterize the often irregular, complex patterns of calcium activity during early neural development. View Full-Text
Keywords: calcium; development; embryo; nervous system; neural development; calcium activity; Xenopus; sox2; tubb2b; Ca2+ calcium; development; embryo; nervous system; neural development; calcium activity; Xenopus; sox2; tubb2b; Ca2+
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MDPI and ACS Style

Paudel, S.; Ablondi, E.; Sehdev, M.; Marken, J.; Halleran, A.; Rahman, A.; Kemper, P.; Saha, M.S. Calcium Activity Dynamics Correlate with Neuronal Phenotype at a Single Cell Level and in a Threshold-Dependent Manner. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1880.

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