Bidirectional Activity-Dependent Morphological Plasticity in Hippocampal Neurons

U.Valentin Nägerl, Nicola Eberhorn, Sidney B. Cambridge, Tobias Bonhoeffer
Neuron. 2004-12-01; 44(5): 759-767
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.11.016

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1. Neuron. 2004 Dec 2;44(5):759-67.

Bidirectional activity-dependent morphological plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

Nägerl UV(1), Eberhorn N, Cambridge SB, Bonhoeffer T.

Author information:
(1)Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152
München-Martinsried, Germany.

Dendritic spines on pyramidal neurons receive the vast majority of excitatory
input and are considered electrobiochemical processing units, integrating and
compartmentalizing synaptic input. Following synaptic plasticity, spines can
undergo morphological plasticity, which possibly forms the structural basis for
long-term changes in neuronal circuitry. Here, we demonstrate that spines on CA1
pyramidal neurons from organotypic slice cultures show bidirectional
activity-dependent morphological plasticity. Using two-photon time-lapse
microscopy, we observed that low-frequency stimulation induced NMDA
receptor-dependent spine retractions, whereas theta burst stimulation led to the
formation of new spines. Moreover, without stimulation the number of spine
retractions was on the same order of magnitude as the stimulus-induced spine gain
or loss. Finally, we found that the ability of neurons to eliminate spines in an
activity-dependent manner decreased with developmental age. Taken together, our
data show that hippocampal neurons can undergo bidirectional morphological
plasticity; spines are formed and eliminated in an activity-dependent way.

DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.11.016
PMID: 15572108 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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