Astrocytes are known to display dynamic intracellular Ca2+ signals, and it has recently been shown that astrocytes rapidly sense and regulate single synapses. Researchers could able to study astrocytic network using optical, pharmacological and genetic tools. Astrocytes in the hippocampus, found to be regulating neuronal conversations. Here, the flashes of light indicate changes in calcium levels within the astrocytes. When neurons show a burst of activity, calcium levels dramatically increase in the astrocyte, lighting up the entire cell.
Haustein MD, Kracun S, Lu XH, Shih T, Jackson-Weaver O, Tong X, Xu J, Yang XW, O’Dell TJ, Marvin JS, Ellisman MH, Bushong EA, Looger LL, & Khakh BS (2014). Conditions and constraints for astrocyte calcium signaling in the hippocampal mossy fiber pathway. Neuron, 82 (2), 413-29 PMID: 24742463