A new automated 3D detection of synaptic contacts reveals the formation of cortico-striatal synapses upon cocaine treatment in vivo.
Brain Struct Funct. 2014-07-08; 220(5): 2953-2966
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1. Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Sep;220(5):2953-66. doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0837-2. Epub
2014 Jul 8.
A new automated 3D detection of synaptic contacts reveals the formation of
cortico-striatal synapses upon cocaine treatment in vivo.
Heck N(1), Dos Santos M, Amairi B, Salery M, Besnard A, Herzog E, Boudier T,
Vanhoutte P, Caboche J.
(1)INSERM, UMR-S 1130, Neuroscience Paris Seine, 75005, Paris, France,
Addiction can be considered as a form of neuronal adaptation within the reward
circuitry. Upon psychostimulant administration, long-term behavioral adaptations
are associated with synaptic plasticity and morphological changes of medium spiny
neurons (MSN) from the striatum. Increased spine density onto MSN in response to
chronic cocaine exposure in mice has been described for more than a decade, but
no evidence indicates that these newly formed spines establish connections. We
developed a method for labeling, automated detection and morphological analysis
of synaptic contacts. Individual labeling of neurons in mice that express the
Vesicular GLUtamate Transporter-1 fused to Venus allows visualization of both
dendritic spines and axonal boutons. Automated three-dimensional segmentation and
morphometric analysis retrieve information on thousands of synapses at high
resolution. We used this method to demonstrate that new cortico-striatal
connections are formed in the striatum upon chronic cocaine. We also show that
the cortical input weight is preserved over other cerebral inputs and that the
newly formed spines contact pre-existing axonal boutons. Our results pave the way
for other studies, since our method can be applied to any other neuronal type as
demonstrated herein for glutamatergic connections on pyramidal neurons and
PMID: 25001083 [Indexed for MEDLINE]