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The diversity of thalamorecipient spine morphology in cat visual cortex and its implication for synaptic plasticity


da Costa, N M (2013). The diversity of thalamorecipient spine morphology in cat visual cortex and its implication for synaptic plasticity. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 521(9):2058-2066.

Abstract

A feature of spine synapses is the existence of a neck connecting the synapse on the spine head to the dendritic shaft. As with a cable, spine neck resistance (Rneck) increases with increasing neck length and is inversely proportional to the cross-sectional area of the neck. A synaptic current entering a spine with a high Rneck will lead to greater local depolarization in the spine head than would a similar input applied to a spine with a lower Rneck. This could make spines with high Rneck more sensitive to plastic changes since voltage sensitive conductances, such as NMDA channels can be more easily activated. We tested this hypothesis using serial section electron microscopic reconstructions of thalamocortical spine synapses and spine necks located on spiny stellate cells and corticothalamic cells from area 17 of cats. Thalamic axons and corticothalamic neurons were labeled by injections of the tracer BDA in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of anaesthetized cats and spiny stellates were filled intracellularly in vivo with horseradish peroxidase. Twenty-eight labeled spines that formed synapses with dLGN boutons were collected from 3 spiny stellate and 4 corticothalamic cells and reconstructed in 3-D from serial electron micrographs. Spine length, spine diameter and the area of the postsynaptic density were measured from the 3-D reconstructions and Rneck of the spine was estimated. No correlation was found between the postsynaptic density size and the estimated spine Rneck. This suggests that forms of plasticity that lead to larger synapses are independent of spine neck resistance.

Abstract

A feature of spine synapses is the existence of a neck connecting the synapse on the spine head to the dendritic shaft. As with a cable, spine neck resistance (Rneck) increases with increasing neck length and is inversely proportional to the cross-sectional area of the neck. A synaptic current entering a spine with a high Rneck will lead to greater local depolarization in the spine head than would a similar input applied to a spine with a lower Rneck. This could make spines with high Rneck more sensitive to plastic changes since voltage sensitive conductances, such as NMDA channels can be more easily activated. We tested this hypothesis using serial section electron microscopic reconstructions of thalamocortical spine synapses and spine necks located on spiny stellate cells and corticothalamic cells from area 17 of cats. Thalamic axons and corticothalamic neurons were labeled by injections of the tracer BDA in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of anaesthetized cats and spiny stellates were filled intracellularly in vivo with horseradish peroxidase. Twenty-eight labeled spines that formed synapses with dLGN boutons were collected from 3 spiny stellate and 4 corticothalamic cells and reconstructed in 3-D from serial electron micrographs. Spine length, spine diameter and the area of the postsynaptic density were measured from the 3-D reconstructions and Rneck of the spine was estimated. No correlation was found between the postsynaptic density size and the estimated spine Rneck. This suggests that forms of plasticity that lead to larger synapses are independent of spine neck resistance.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 09:37
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 20:20
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
Series Name:Journal of Comparative Neurology
Number of Pages:25
ISSN:0021-9967
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/cne.23272
PubMed ID:23184851

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