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Neurosci Behav Physiol. 2005 May;35(4):333-41.

Three-dimensional reconstruction of synapses and dendritic spines in the rat and ground squirrel hippocampus: new structural-functional paradigms for synaptic function.

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Institute of Cell Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences.


Published data are reviewed along with our own data on synaptic plasticity and rearrangements of synaptic organelles in the central nervous system. Contemporary laser scanning and confocal microscopy techniques are discussed, along with the use of serial ultrathin sections for in vivo and in vitro studies of dendritic spines, including those addressing relationships between morphological changes and the efficiency of synaptic transmission, especially in conditions of the long-term potentiation model. Different categories of dendritic spines and postsynaptic densities are analyzed, as are the roles of filopodia in originating spines. The role of serial ultrathin sections for unbiased quantitative stereological analysis and three-dimensional reconstruction is assessed. The authors' data on the formation of more than two synapses on single mushroom spines on neurons in hippocampal field CA1 are discussed. Analysis of these data provides evidence for new paradigms in both the organization and functioning of synapses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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