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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Dec;79(23):7590-4.

High actin concentrations in brain dendritic spines and postsynaptic densities.


Antibodies against actin were used to corroborate the presence of actin as a major component protein of isolated brain postsynaptic densities. The same antibodies also were used as an immunohistochemical stain to study the distribution of actin in sections of intact brain tissue. This showed two major sites where actin is concentrated: smooth muscle cells around blood vessels and postsynaptic sites. In the postsynaptic area the highest concentration of actin occurs in postsynaptic densities and there also is intense staining in the surrounding cytoplasm, especially within dendritic spines. Antiactin staining was much weaker in other parts of neurons and in glial cells. The high concentration of actin in dendritic spines may be related to shape changes that these structures have been found to undergo in response to prolonged afferent stimulation.

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