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PLoS Biol. 2008 Sep 9;6(9):e219. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060219.

LTP promotes a selective long-term stabilization and clustering of dendritic spines.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Dendritic spines are the main postsynaptic site of excitatory contacts between neurons in the central nervous system. On cortical neurons, spines undergo a continuous turnover regulated by development and sensory activity. However, the functional implications of this synaptic remodeling for network properties remain currently unknown. Using repetitive confocal imaging on hippocampal organotypic cultures, we find that learning-related patterns of activity that induce long-term potentiation act as a selection mechanism for the stabilization and localization of spines. Through a lasting N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and protein synthesis-dependent increase in protrusion growth and turnover, induction of plasticity promotes a pruning and replacement of nonactivated spines by new ones together with a selective stabilization of activated synapses. Furthermore, most newly formed spines preferentially grow in close proximity to activated synapses and become functional within 24 h, leading to a clustering of functional synapses. Our results indicate that synaptic remodeling associated with induction of long-term potentiation favors the selection of inputs showing spatiotemporal interactions on a given neuron.

PMID:
18788894
PMCID:
PMC2531136
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0060219
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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