Ramírez, O. A., Córdova, A., Cerda, M., Lobos, P., Härtel, S., Couve, A., & Hidalgo, C.
Neuronal Ca2+ signals are fundamental for synaptic transmission and activity-dependent changes in gene expression. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors play major roles in mediating external Ca2+ entry during action potential firing and glutamatergic activity. Additionally, the inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) and the ryanodine receptor (RyR) channels expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) also contribute to the generation of Ca2+ signals in response to neuronal activity. The ER forms a network that pervades the entire neuronal volume, allowing intracellular Ca2+ release in dendrites, soma and presynaptic boutons. Despite its unique morphological features, the contributions of ER structure and of ER-shaping proteins such as atlastin – an ER enriched GTPase that mediates homotypic ER tubule fusion – to the generation of Ca2+ signals in dendrites remains unreported. Here, we investigated the contribution of RyR-mediated Ca2+ release to IP3-generated Ca2+ signals in dendrites of cultured hippocampal neurons. We also employed GTPase activity-deficient atlastin-2 (ATL2) mutants to evaluate the potential role of atlastin on Ca2+ signaling and ER-resident Ca2+ channel distribution. We found that pharmacological suppression of RyR channel activity increased the rising time and reduced the magnitude and propagation of IP3-induced Ca2+ signals. Additionally, ATL2 mutants induced specific ER morphological alterations, delayed the onset and increased the rising time of IP3-evoked Ca2+ signals, and caused RyR2 and IP3R1 aggregation and RyR2 redistribution. These results indicate that both RyR and ATL2 activity regulate IP3-induced Ca2+ signal dynamics through RyR-mediated Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release, ER shaping and RyR2 distribution.