Calcium Imaging of Parvalbumin Neurons in the Dorsal Root Ganglia
We investigated the calcium dynamics of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using transgenic mice to target expression of the genetically encoded calcium indicator (GECI), GCaMP6s, to a subset of neurons containing parvalbumin (PV), a calcium-binding protein present in proprioceptors and low-threshold mechanoreceptors. This study provides the first analysis of GECI calcium transient parameters from large-diameter DRG neurons. Our approach generated calcium transients of consistent shape and time-course, with quantifiable characteristics. Four parameters of calcium transients were determined to vary independently from each other and thus are likely influenced by different calcium-regulating mechanisms: peak amplitude, rise time (RT), decay time, and recovery time. Pooled analysis of 188 neurons demonstrated unimodal distributions, providing evidence that PV+ DRG neurons regulate calcium similarly as a population despite their differences in size, electrical properties, and functional sensitivities. Calcium transients increased in size with elevated extracellular calcium, longer trains of action potentials, and higher stimulation frequencies. RT and decay time increased with the addition of the selective sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPases (SERCA) blocker, thapsigargin (TG), while peak amplitude and recovery time remained the same. When elevating bath pH to 8.8 to block plasma-membrane calcium ATPases (PMCA), all measured parameters significantly increased. These results illustrate that GECI calcium transients provide sufficient resolution to detect changes in electrical activity and intracellular calcium concentration, as well as discern information about the activity of specific subclasses of calcium regulatory mechanisms.
Walters, M. C.,
Myers, J. H.,
& Ladle, D. R.
(2019). Calcium Imaging of Parvalbumin Neurons in the Dorsal Root Ganglia. eNeuro, 6 (4).