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Neurotrophins regulate neuronal survival, differentiation, and synaptic function. To understand how neurotrophins elicit such diverse responses, we elucidated signaling pathways by which brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activates gene expression in cultured neurons and hippocampal slices. We found, unexpectedly, that the transcription factor cyclic(More)
Dendritic spines are micron-sized membrane protrusions receiving most excitatory synaptic inputs in the mammalian brain. Spines form and grow during long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength. However, the source of membrane for spine formation and enlargement is unknown. Here we report that membrane trafficking from recycling endosomes is required(More)
Dendritic spines are the primary recipients of excitatory input in the central nervous system. They provide biochemical compartments that locally control the signaling mechanisms at individual synapses. Hippocampal spines show structural plasticity as the basis for the physiological changes in synaptic efficacy that underlie learning and memory. Spine(More)
Complete reconstructions of vertebrate neuronal circuits on the synaptic level require new approaches. Here, serial section transmission electron microscopy was automated to densely reconstruct four volumes, totaling 670 μm(3), from the rat hippocampus as proving grounds to determine when axo-dendritic proximities predict synapses. First, in contrast with(More)
Astroglia are integral components of synapse formation and maturation during development. Less is known about how astroglia might influence synaptogenesis in the mature brain. Preparation of mature hippocampal slices results in synapse loss followed by recuperative synaptogenesis during subsequent maintenance in vitro. Hence, this model system was used to(More)
Altered dendritic spines are characteristic of traumatized or diseased brain. Two general categories of spine pathology can be distinguished: pathologies of distribution and pathologies of ultrastructure. Pathologies of spine distribution affect many spines along the dendrites of a neuron and include altered spine numbers, distorted spine shapes, and(More)
Dendritic spines are the primary site of excitatory input on most principal neurons. Long-lasting changes in synaptic activity are accompanied by alterations in spine shape, size and number. The responsiveness of thin spines to increases and decreases in synaptic activity has led to the suggestion that they are 'learning spines', whereas the stability of(More)
Recent studies have shown that machine learning can improve the accuracy of detecting object boundaries in images. In the standard approach, a boundary detector is trained by minimizing its pixel-level disagreement with human boundary tracings. This naive metric is problematic because it is overly sensitive to boundary locations. This problem is solved by(More)
Although the extracellular space in the neuropil of the brain is an important channel for volume communication between cells and has other important functions, its morphology on the micron scale has not been analyzed quantitatively owing to experimental limitations. We used manual and computational techniques to reconstruct the 3D geometry of 180 μm(3) of(More)