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Neuron. 2017 Apr 19;94(2):312-321.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.03.047.

Assembly of Excitatory Synapses in the Absence of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Kellogg School of Science and Technology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
2
National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
3
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
4
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address: amaximov@scripps.edu.

Abstract

Synaptic excitation mediates a broad spectrum of structural changes in neural circuits across the brain. Here, we examine the morphologies, wiring, and architectures of single synapses of projection neurons in the murine hippocampus that developed in virtually complete absence of vesicular glutamate release. While these neurons had smaller dendritic trees and/or formed fewer contacts in specific hippocampal subfields, their stereotyped connectivity was largely preserved. Furthermore, loss of release did not disrupt the morphogenesis of presynaptic terminals and dendritic spines, suggesting that glutamatergic neurotransmission is unnecessary for synapse assembly and maintenance. These results underscore the instructive role of intrinsic mechanisms in synapse formation.

KEYWORDS:

active zone; dendritic spine; glutamate release; hardwiring; hippocampus; memory; neural circuit development; neurotransmission; synapse; synaptic vesicle exocytosis

PMID:
28426966
PMCID:
PMC5521186
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2017.03.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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