Joshua T. Trachtenberg

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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)
Denervated adult mammalian muscle fibres are reinnervated by regenerating axons and, in the case of partially denervated muscles, by sprouts extended from remaining, intact axons. Recent experiments suggest that Schwann cells (SCs) regulate these events, inducing and guiding axonal outgrowth through the processes they extend. In contrast to adults,(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)
The "terminal' Schwann cells that sit atop the neuromuscular junction sense neuromuscular transmission and respond to perturbations of this transmission by extending long processes. These processes have the ability to induce nerve growth and serve as substrates to guide this growth. These processes thus play major roles in muscle reinnervation and in(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)
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)
Schwann cells (SCs) that cap neuromuscular junctions (nmjs) play roles in guiding nerve terminal growth in paralyzed and partially denervated muscles; however, the role of these cells in the day-to-day maintenance of this synapse is obscure. Neuregulins, alternatively spliced ligands for several erbB receptor tyrosine kinases, are thought to play important(More)