Satellite glial cells are important for proper neuronal function of primary sensory neurons for which they provide homeostatic support. Most research on satellite glial cell function has been performed with in vitro studies, but recent advances in calcium imaging and transgenic mouse models have enabled this first in vivo study of single-cell satellite glial cell function in mouse models of inflammation and neuropathic pain. We found that in naïve conditions, satellite glial cells do not respond in a time-locked fashion to neuronal firing. In painful inflammatory and neuropathic states, we detected time-locked signals in a subset of satellite glial cells, but only with suprathreshold stimulation of the sciatic nerve. Surprisingly, therefore, we conclude that most calcium signals in satellite glial cells seem to develop at arbitrary intervals not directly linked to neuronal activity patterns. More in line with expectations, our experiments also revealed that the number of active satellite glial cells was increased under conditions of inflammation or nerve injury. This could reflect the increased requirement for homeostatic support across dorsal root ganglion neuron populations, which are more active during such painful states.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcae013
Pages (from-to)fcae013
JournalBrain Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'In vivo calcium imaging shows that satellite glial cells have increased activity in painful states'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this