Calcium imaging reveals glial involvement in transcranial direct current stimulation-induced plasticity in mouse brain

Hiromu Monai, Masamichi Ohkura, Mika Tanaka, Yuki Oe, Ayumu Konno, Hirokazu Hirai, Katsuhiko Mikoshiba, Shigeyoshi Itohara, Junichi Nakai, Youichi Iwai, Hajime Hirase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transcranical direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a treatment known to ameliorate various neurological conditions and enhance memory and cognition in humans. tDCS has gained traction for its potential therapeutic value; however, little is known about its mechanism of action. Using a transgenic mouse expressing G-CaMP7 in astrocytes and a subpopulation of excitatory neurons, we find that tDCS induces large-amplitude astrocytic Ca2+ surges across the entire cortex with no obvious changes in the local field potential. Moreover, sensory evoked cortical responses are enhanced after tDCS. These enhancements are dependent on the alpha-1 adrenergic receptor and are not observed in IP3R2 (inositol trisphosphate receptor type 2) knockout mice, in which astrocytic Ca2+ surges are absent. Together, we propose that tDCS changes the metaplasticity of the cortex through astrocytic Ca2+/IP3 signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11100
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 22
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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