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Dendritic spines receive most synaptic inputs in the forebrain. Their morphology, with a spine head isolated from the dendrite by a slender neck, indicates a potential role in isolating inputs. Indeed, biochemical compartmentalization occurs at spine heads because of the diffusional bottleneck created by the spine neck. Here we investigate whether the spine(More)
Laser microscopy has generally poor temporal resolution, caused by the serial scanning of each pixel. This is a significant problem for imaging or optically manipulating neural circuits, since neuronal activity is fast. To help surmount this limitation, we have developed a "scanless" microscope that does not contain mechanically moving parts. This(More)
In mammalian cortex, most excitatory inputs occur on dendritic spines, avoiding dendritic shafts. Although spines biochemically isolate inputs, nonspiny neurons can also implement biochemical compartmentalization; so, it is possible that spines have an additional function. We have recently shown that the spine neck can filter membrane potentials going into(More)
The dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR), normally a voltage-dependent calcium channel, functions in skeletal muscle essentially as a voltage sensor, triggering intracellular calcium release for excitation-contraction coupling. In addition to this fast calcium release, via ryanodine receptor (RYR) channels, depolarization of skeletal myotubes evokes slow calcium(More)
Most excitatory inputs in the mammalian brain are made on dendritic spines, rather than on dendritic shafts. Spines compartmentalize calcium, and this biochemical isolation can underlie input-specific synaptic plasticity, providing a raison d'etre for spines. However, recent results indicate that the spine can experience a membrane potential different from(More)
We describe neurobiological applications of RuBi-Glutamate, a novel caged-glutamate compound based on ruthenium photochemistry. RuBi-Glutamate can be excited with visible wavelengths and releases glutamate after one- or two-photon excitation. It has high quantum efficiency and can be used at low concentrations, partly avoiding the blockade of GABAergic(More)
Skeletal muscle differentiation follows an organized sequence of events including commitment, cell cycle withdrawal, and cell fusion to form multinucleated myotubes. The role of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP)-mediated signaling in differentiation of skeletal muscle myoblasts was evaluated in C(2)C(12) cells, a myoblast cell line. Cell differentiation was(More)
Dendritic spines mediate most excitatory synapses in the brain. Past theoretical work and recent experimental evidence have suggested that spines could contain sodium channels. We tested this by measuring the effect of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) on depolarizations generated by two-photon uncaging of glutamate on spines from mouse(More)
Two-photon microscopy is often performed at slow frame rates due to the need to serially scan all points in a field of view with a single laser beam. To overcome this problem, we have developed two optical methods that split and multiplex a laser beam across the sample. In the first method a diffractive optical element (DOE) generates a fixed number of(More)
We introduce a novel caged dopamine compound (RuBi-Dopa) based on ruthenium photochemistry. RuBi-Dopa has a high uncaging efficiency and can be released with visible (blue-green) and IR light in a two-photon regime. We combine two-photon photorelease of RuBi-Dopa with two-photon calcium imaging for an optical imaging and manipulation of dendritic spines in(More)