Send to

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

Bidirectional activity-dependent morphological plasticity in hippocampal neurons.

Author information

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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center