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Serial electron microscopy and 3-D reconstructions of dendritic spines from hippocampal area CA 1 dendrites were obtained to evaluate 2 questions about relationships between spine geometry and synaptic efficacy. First, under what biophysical conditions are the spine necks likely to reduce the magnitude of charge transferred from the synapses on the spine(More)
Physiological studies of CA3-->CA1 synaptic transmission and plasticity have revealed both pre- and postsynaptic effects. Understanding the extent to which individual presynaptic axonal boutons could provide local compartments for control of synaptic efficacy and microconnectivity requires knowledge of their three-dimensional morphology and composition. In(More)
To determine the role of dendritic filopodia in the genesis of excitatory synaptic contacts and dendritic spines in hippocampal area CA1, serial section electron microscopy and three-dimensional analysis of 16 volumes of neuropil from nine male rat pups, aged postnatal day 1 (P1) through P12, were performed. The analysis revealed that numerous dendritic(More)
We have used serial electron microscopy and 3-dimensional reconstructions of dendritic spines from Purkinje spiny branchlets of normal adult rats to evaluate 2 questions about the relationship of spine geometry to synaptic efficacy. First, do relationships between spine geometry and other anatomical indicators of synaptic activity suggest that spine size(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)
Hippocampal slices have long been used to investigate properties of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, for the first time, synapses in slices have been compared quantitatively with synapses occurring in perfusion-fixed hippocampus, which is presumed to represent the natural in vivo state. Relative to perfusion-fixed hippocampus, a remarkable 40-50%(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)
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)
Recent studies have shown high levels of calcium in activated dendritic spines, where the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) is likely to be important for regulating calcium. Here, the dimensions and organization of the SER in hippocampal spines and dendrites were measured through serial electron microscopy and three-dimensional analysis. SER of some form(More)