UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Alkema Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program

Date

11-2012

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Caenorhabditis elegans; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins; Calcium Signaling; Connexins; Gap Junctions; Neurons; Olfactory Receptor Neurons

Disciplines

Developmental Neuroscience | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Abstract

The C. elegans left and right AWC olfactory neurons specify asymmetric subtypes, one default AWC(OFF) and one induced AWC(ON), through a stochastic, coordinated cell signaling event. Intercellular communication between AWCs and non-AWC neurons via a NSY-5 gap junction network coordinates AWC asymmetry. However, the nature of intercellular signaling across the network and how individual non-AWC cells in the network influence AWC asymmetry is not known. Here, we demonstrate that intercellular calcium signaling through the NSY-5 gap junction neural network coordinates a precise 1AWC(ON)/1AWC(OFF) decision. We show that NSY-5 gap junctions in C. elegans cells mediate small molecule passage. We expressed vertebrate calcium-buffer proteins in groups of cells in the network to reduce intracellular calcium levels, thereby disrupting intercellular communication. We find that calcium in non-AWC cells of the network promotes the AWC(ON) fate, in contrast to the autonomous role of calcium in AWCs to promote the AWC(OFF) fate. In addition, calcium in specific non-AWCs promotes AWC(ON) side biases through NSY-5 gap junctions. Our results suggest a novel model in which calcium has dual roles within the NSY-5 network: autonomously promoting AWC(OFF) and non-autonomously promoting AWC(ON).

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Development. 2012 Nov;139(22):4191-201. doi: 10.1242/dev.083428. Link to article on publisher's site

Comments

Publisher PDF posted as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at http://dev.biologists.org/content/rights-permissions.

Co-author Jennifer Pirri is a doctoral student in the Neuroscience program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

Gap junctions, Calcium signaling, Stochastic left-right neuronal asymmetry, C. elegans

PubMed ID

23093425

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.