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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)
Endosomes are essential to dendritic and synaptic function in sorting membrane proteins for degradation or recycling, yet little is known about their locations near synapses. Here, serial electron microscopy was used to ascertain the morphology and distribution of all membranous intracellular compartments in distal dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal(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)
Behavioral development in the worker caste of many adult ants follows a pattern of task transitions that contribute to the division of labor within colonies. In the ant Pheidole dentata, the number of tasks that minor workers attend to increases as they progress from brood-care activities within the nest to acts outside the nest such as foraging and(More)
Hippocampal slices often have more synapses than perfusion-fixed hippocampus, but the cause of this synaptogenesis is unclear. Ultrastructural evidence for synaptogenic triggers during slice preparation was investigated in 21-day-old rats. Slices chopped under warm or chilled conditions and fixed after 0, 5, 25, 60, or 180 minutes of incubation in an(More)
Enlargement of dendritic spines and synapses correlates with enhanced synaptic strength during long-term potentiation (LTP), especially in immature hippocampal neurons. Less clear is the nature of this structural synaptic plasticity on mature hippocampal neurons, and nothing is known about the structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses during LTP. Here(More)