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Astrocytes regulate synaptic connectivity in the CNS through secreted signals. Here we identified two astrocyte-secreted proteins, hevin and SPARC, as regulators of excitatory synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Hevin induces the formation of synapses between cultured rat retinal ganglion cells. SPARC is not synaptogenic, but specifically antagonizes(More)
Postnatal/adult neural stem cells (NSCs) within the rodent subventricular zone (SVZ; also called subependymal zone) generate doublecortin (Dcx)(+) neuroblasts that migrate and integrate into olfactory bulb circuitry. Continuous production of neuroblasts is controlled by the SVZ microenvironmental niche. It is generally thought that enhancing the neurogenic(More)
One of the most important goals in neuroscience is to understand the molecular cues that instruct early stages of synapse formation. As such it has become imperative to develop objective approaches to quantify changes in synaptic connectivity. Starting from sample fixation, this protocol details how to quantify synapse number both in dissociated neuronal(More)
Dendritic spines are the primary recipients of excitatory synaptic input in the brain. Spine morphology provides important information on the functional state of ongoing synaptic transmission. One of the most commonly used methods to visualize spines is Golgi-Cox staining, which is appealing both due to ease of sample preparation and wide applicability to(More)
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) play important roles in the function and regulation of the central nervous system. Structural studies are necessary for the detailed understanding of their mechanisms of action. However, overexpression and purification of functional receptors in quantities required for these studies proves to be a major challenge.(More)
Thrombospondins 1 and 2 (TSP-1/2) belong to a family of extracellular glycoproteins with angiostatic and synaptogenic properties. Although TSP-1/2 have been postulated to drive the resolution of postischemic angiogenesis, their role in synaptic and functional recovery is unknown. We investigated whether TSP-1/2 are necessary for synaptic and motor recovery(More)
Astrocytes, through their close associations with synapses, can monitor and alter synaptic function, thus actively controlling synaptic transmission in the adult brain. Besides their important role at adult synapses, in the last three decades a number of critical findings have highlighted the importance of astrocytes in the establishment of synaptic(More)
BACKGROUND Synapse-associated protein 90/postsynaptic density protein 95-associated protein 3 (SAPAP3) is an excitatory postsynaptic protein implicated in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. In mice, genetic deletion of Sapap3 causes obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-like behaviors that are rescued by striatal expression of Sapap3,(More)
Thrombospondins (TSPs) are a family of large, oligomeric multidomain glycoproteins that participate in a variety of biological functions as part of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Through their associations with a number of binding partners, TSPs mediate complex cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in such diverse processes as angiogenesis, inflammation,(More)