Learn More
Do new synapses form in the adult cortex to support experience-dependent plasticity? To address this question, we repeatedly imaged individual pyramidal neurons in the mouse barrel cortex over periods of weeks. We found that, although dendritic structure is stable, some spines appear and disappear. Spine lifetimes vary greatly: stable spines, about 50% of(More)
Dendritic spines were imaged over days to months in the apical tufts of neocortical pyramidal neurons (layers 5 and 2/3) in vivo. A fraction of thin spines appeared and disappeared over a few days, while most thick spines persisted for months. In the somatosensory cortex, from postnatal day (PND) 16 to PND 25 spine retractions exceeded additions, resulting(More)
Although many genes predisposing to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been identified, the biological mechanism(s) remain unclear. Mouse models based on human disease-causing mutations provide the potential for understanding gene function and novel treatment development. Here, we characterize a mouse knockout of the Cntnap2 gene, which is strongly(More)
To understand the cellular and circuit mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity, neurons and their synapses need to be studied in the intact brain over extended periods of time. Two-photon excitation laser scanning microscopy (2PLSM), together with expression of fluorescent proteins, enables high-resolution imaging of neuronal structure in vivo. In(More)
Early sensory experience instructs the maturation of neural circuitry in the cortex. This has been studied extensively in the primary visual cortex, in which loss of vision to one eye permanently degrades cortical responsiveness to that eye, a phenomenon known as ocular dominance plasticity (ODP). Cortical inhibition mediates this process, but the precise(More)
We found that in mice, following eye opening, fast-spiking, parvalbumin-positive GABAergic interneurons had well-defined orientation tuning preferences and that subsequent visual experience broadened this tuning. Broad inhibitory tuning was not required for the developmental sharpening of excitatory tuning but did precede binocular matching of excitatory(More)
Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) was initially discovered through a balanced translocation (1;11)(q42.1;q14.3) that results in loss of the C terminus of the DISC1 protein, a region that is thought to play an important role in brain development. Here, we use an inducible and reversible transgenic system to demonstrate that early postnatal, but not adult(More)
Visual experience begins at eye opening, but current models consider cortical circuitry to be resistant to experience-dependent competitive modification until the activation of a later critical period. Here we examine this idea using optical imaging to map the time course of receptive field refinement in normal mice, mice in which the contralateral eye(More)
Can dendrites grow in mature cortex? We used chronic in vivo imaging to follow pyramidal neurons before and after cortical deletion of the Pten tumor suppressor gene in mature mice. We found that Pten/mTOR signaling uniquely regulates the growth of layer 2/3 apical dendrites; no effects of gene deletion were observed on basal dendrites of these pyramidal(More)
Vascular inflammation is well known for its ability to compromise the function of the blood--brain barrier (BBB). Whether inflammation on the parenchymal side of the barrier, such as that associated with Parkinson's-like dopamine (DA) neuron lesions, similarly disrupts BBB function, is unknown. We assessed BBB integrity by examining the leakage of(More)