Region-specific and state-dependent astrocyte Ca2+ dynamics during the sleep-wake cycle in mice

Tomomi Tsunematsu, Shuzo Sakata, Tomomi Sanagi, Kenji F. Tanaka, Ko Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neural activity is diverse, and varies depending on brain regions and sleep/wakefulness states. However, whether astrocyte activity differs between sleep/wakefulness states, and whether there are differences in astrocyte activity among brain regions remain poorly understood. In this study, we recorded astrocyte intracellular calcium (Ca2+) concentrations of mice during sleep/wakefulness states in the cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, cerebellum, and pons using fiber photometry. For this purpose, male transgenic mice in which their astrocytes specifically express the genetically encoded ratiometric Ca2+ sensor YCnano50 were used. We demonstrated that Ca2+ levels in astrocytes significantly decrease during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and increase after the onset of wakefulness. In contrast, differences in Ca2+ levels during non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep were observed among different brain regions, and no significant decrease was observed in the hypothalamus and pons. Further analyses focusing on the transition between sleep/wakefulness states and correlation analysis with episode duration of REM showed that Ca2+ dynamics differed among brain regions, suggesting the existence of several clusters. To quantify region-specific Ca2+ dynamics, principal component analysis was performed to uncover three clusters; i.e., the first comprised the cortex and hippocampus, the second comprised the cerebellum, and the third comprised the hypothalamus and pons. Our study demonstrated that astrocyte Ca2+ levels change substantially according to sleep/wakefulness states. These changes were generally consistent, unlike neural activity. However, we also clarified that Ca2+ dynamics varies depending on the brain region, implying that astrocytes may play various physiological roles in sleep.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 17

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)

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