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Calcium tsunamis: do astrocytes transmit cell death messages via gap junctions during ischemia?


Apoptosis seems to be a dignified method of cell death, dictated by an individual cell, but new evidence that astrocytes can send apoptotic signals to neighboring cells through gap junctions challenges this model and may explain slowly spreading damage to glia after an ischemic insult.

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Figure 1: A schematic section through gap junctions connecting glial cells.


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Budd, S., Lipton, S. Calcium tsunamis: do astrocytes transmit cell death messages via gap junctions during ischemia?. Nat Neurosci 1, 431–432 (1998).

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