Glial calcium (Ca(2+)) waves constitute a means to spread signals between glial cells and to neighboring neurons and blood vessels. These waves occur spontaneously in Bergmann glia (BG) of the mouse cerebellar cortex in vivo. Here, we tested three hypotheses: (1) aging and reduced blood oxygen saturation alters wave activity; (2) glial Ca(2+) waves change cerebral oxygen metabolism; and (3) neuronal and glial wave activity is correlated. We used two-photon microscopy in the cerebellar cortexes of adult (8- to 15-week-old) and aging (48- to 80-week-old) ketamine-anesthetized mice after bolus loading with OGB-1/AM and SR101. We report that the occurrence of spontaneous waves is 20 times more frequent in the cerebellar cortex of aging as compared with adult mice, which correlated with a reduction in resting brain oxygen tension. In adult mice, spontaneous glial wave activity increased on reducing resting brain oxygen tension, and ATP-evoked glial waves reduced the tissue O(2) tension. Finally, although spontaneous Purkinje cell (PC) activity was not associated with increased glia wave activity, spontaneous glial waves did affect intracellular Ca(2+) activity in PCs. The increased wave activity during aging, as well as low resting brain oxygen tension, suggests a relationship between glial waves, brain energy homeostasis, and pathology.
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 2013, Vol 33, Issue 2, p. 161-9