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Structural plasticity of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses as revealed by high-pressure freezing.

Zhao, Shanting, Studer, Daniel, Chai, Xuejun, Graber, Werner, Brose, Nils, Nestel, Sigrun, Young, Christina, Rodriguez, E. Patricia, Saetzler, Kurt and Frotscher, Michael (2012) Structural plasticity of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses as revealed by high-pressure freezing. J Comp Neurol, 520 (11). pp. 2340-2351. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cne.23040

DOI: 10.1002/cne.23040


Despite recent progress in fluorescence microscopy techniques, electron microscopy (EM) is still superior in the simultaneous analysis of all tissue components at high resolution. However, it is unclear to what extent conventional fixation for EM using aldehydes results in tissue alteration. Here, we made an attempt to minimize tissue alteration by using rapid high-pressure freezing (HPF) of hippocampal slice cultures. We used this approach to monitor fine-structural changes at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses associated with chemically induced long-term potentiation (LTP). Synaptic plasticity in LTP has been known to involve structural changes at synapses including reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and de novo formation of spines. While LTP-induced formation and growth of postsynaptic spines have been reported, little is known about associated structural changes in presynaptic boutons. Mossy fiber synapses are assumed to exhibit presynaptic LTP expression and are easily identified by EM. In slice cultures from wild-type mice, we found that chemical LTP increased the length of the presynaptic membrane of mossy fiber boutons, associated with a de novo formation of small spines and an increase in the number of active zones. Of note, these changes were not observed in slice cultures from Munc13-1 knock-out mutants exhibiting defective vesicle priming. These findings show that activation of hippocampal mossy fibers induces pre- and postsynaptic structural changes at mossy fiber synapses that can be monitored by EM. J. Comp. Neurol., 2012. © 2012 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Genomic Medicine
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
ID Code:22072
Deposited By: Dr Kurt Saetzler
Deposited On:11 Dec 2012 10:24
Last Modified:23 May 2017 15:53

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