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Evaluation of Synapse Density in Hippocampal Rodent Brain Slices.

McLeod, F; Marzo, A; Podpolny, M; Galli, S; Salinas, P; (2017) Evaluation of Synapse Density in Hippocampal Rodent Brain Slices. J Vis Exp (128) , Article e56153. 10.3791/56153. Green open access

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Abstract

In the brain, synapses are specialized junctions between neurons, determining the strength and spread of neuronal signaling. The number of synapses is tightly regulated during development and neuronal maturation. Importantly, deficits in synapse number can lead to cognitive dysfunction. Therefore, the evaluation of synapse number is an integral part of neurobiology. However, as synapses are small and highly compact in the intact brain, the assessment of absolute number is challenging. This protocol describes a method to easily identify and evaluate synapses in hippocampal rodent slices using immunofluorescence microscopy. It includes a three-step procedure to evaluate synapses in high-quality confocal microscopy images by analyzing the co-localization of pre- and postsynaptic proteins in hippocampal slices. It also explains how the analysis is performed and gives representative examples from both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. This protocol provides a solid foundation for the analysis of synapses and can be applied to any research investigating the structure and function of the brain.

Type: Article
Title: Evaluation of Synapse Density in Hippocampal Rodent Brain Slices.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3791/56153
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/56153
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Keywords: Neuroscience, Issue 128, Neurons, synapses, brain slices, immunofluorescence, hippocampus, mouse, rat, vGlut1, PSD-95, vGAT, gephyrin
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10025976
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