Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosci Lett. 2010 Oct 11;483(2):152-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.07.083. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

Descriptive findings on the morphology of dendritic spines in the rat medial amygdala.

Author information

Department of Cell, Molecular Biology and Biopathogens, Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) is a brain area in which gonadal hormones induce notable plastic effects in the density of dendritic spines. Dendritic spines are post-synaptic specializations whose shape and spacing change neuronal excitability. Our aim was to obtain new data on the dendritic spines morphology and density from MePD neurons using the carbocyanine dye DiI under confocal microscopy. In adult male rats, the dendritic spine density of the medial branches of the left MePD (mean+/-SD) was 1.15+/-0.67spines/dendritic microm. From the total sampled, approximately 53% of the spines were classified as thin, 22.5% as "mushroom-like", and 21.5% as stubby/wide. Other spine shapes (3%) included those ramified, with a filopodium-like or a gemule appearance, and others with a protruding spinule. Additional experiment joining DiI and synaptophysin (a pre-synaptic protein) labeling suggested synaptic sites on dendritic shafts and spines. Dendritic spines showed synaptophysin puncta close to their head and neck, although some spines had no evident labeled puncta on them or, conversely, multiple puncta appeared upon one spine. These results advance previous light microscopy results by revealing features and complexities of the dendritic spines at the same time that give new insight on the possible synaptic organization of the adult rat MePD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center