Stephen J. Smith

Learn More
The finding that astrocytes possess glutamate-sensitive ion channels hinted at a previously unrecognized signaling role for these cells. Now it is reported that cultured hippocampal astrocytes can respond to glutamate with a prompt and oscillatory elevation of cytoplasmic free calcium, visible through use of the fluorescent calcium indicator fluo-3. Two(More)
Little is known about presynaptic assembly during central nervous system synaptogenesis. Here we used time-lapse fluorescence imaging, immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy to study hippocampal neuronal cultures transfected with a fusion construct of the presynaptic vesicle protein VAMP and green fluorescent protein. Our results suggest that major(More)
During development, the formation of mature neural circuits requires the selective elimination of inappropriate synaptic connections. Here we show that C1q, the initiating protein in the classical complement cascade, is expressed by postnatal neurons in response to immature astrocytes and is localized to synapses throughout the postnatal CNS and retina.(More)
Axo-dendritic synaptogenesis was examined in live hippocampal cell cultures using the fluorescent dyes DiO to label dendrites and FM 4-64 to label functional presynaptic boutons. As the first functional synaptic boutons appeared in these cultures, numerous filopodia (up to 10 micron long) were observed to extend transiently (mean lifetime 9.5 min) from(More)
Many biological functions depend critically upon fine details of tissue molecular architecture that have resisted exploration by existing imaging techniques. This is particularly true for nervous system tissues, where information processing function depends on intricate circuit and synaptic architectures. Here, we describe a new imaging method, called array(More)
We used the fluorescent membrane probe FM 1-43 to label recycling synaptic vesicles within the presynaptic boutons of dissociated hippocampal neurons in culture. Quantitative time-lapse fluorescence imaging was employed in combination with rapid superfusion techniques to study the dynamics of synaptic vesicles within single boutons. This approach enabled us(More)
We have implemented three parallel sorting algorithms on the Connection Machine Supercomputer model CM-2: Batcher's bitonic sort, a parallel radix sort, and a sample sort similar to Reif and Valiant's ashsort. We have also evaluated the implementation of many other sorting algorithms proposed in the literature. Our computational experiments show that the(More)
Time-lapse fluorescence confocal microscopy was used to directly visualize the formation and dynamics of postsynaptic target structures (i.e., dendritic branches and spines) on pyramidal neurons within developing tissue slices. Within a 2 week period of time, pyramidal neurons in cultured slices derived from early postnatal rat (postnatal days 2-7)(More)
Actions of cytochalasin B (CB) on cytoskeletons and motility of growth cones from cultured Aplysia neurons were studied using a rapid flow perfusion chamber and digital video light microscopy. Living growth cones were observed using differential interference contrast optics and were also fixed at various time points to assay actin filament (F-actin) and(More)
The recent discovery that the neurotransmitter glutamate can trigger actively propagating Ca2+ waves in the cytoplasm of cultured astrocytes suggests the possibility that synaptically released glutamate may trigger similar Ca2+ waves in brain astrocytes in situ. To explore this possibility, we used confocal microscopy and the Ca2+ indicator fluo-3 to study(More)