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Neurosci Res. 1993 Feb;16(2):95-103.

Formation and maturation of synapses in primary cultures of rat cerebral cortical cells: an electron microscopic study.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Japan.

Abstract

Cerebral cortical cells from fetal rats (18 days) were cultured for 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 days in vitro (DIV) and the development of synapses was examined morphologically by electron microscopy. At 3 DIV, no synapses could be recognized. An immature type of synapse was found at 7 DIV which thereafter developed morphologically. The length of the synaptic contact zone (SCZ) increased with DIV from 271 +/- 11.4 nm (mean +/- SEM) at 7 DIV to 410 +/- 11.4 nm at 35 DIV. The number of synaptic vesicles per terminal also increased with DIV: 10.0 +/- 1.2 at 7 DIV, 35.7 +/- 3.4 at 21 DIV, and 53.3 +/- 4.5 at 35 DIV. The time course of numerical density of synapses was examined quantitatively by electron microscopy. Synaptic density was very low at 7 DIV. It was significantly increased at 14 DIV and thereafter showed variable changes. Four culture series showed decreases after 14 DIV, but one series showed a further increase at 21 DIV followed by a decrease at 28 DIV. The mean density of synapses at each DIV was as follows: 1780 +/- 86/10(6) microns3 at 7 DIV, 4244 +/- 595/10(6) microns3 at 14 DIV, 2285 +/- 674/10(6) microns3 at 21 DIV, 2552 +/- 646/10(6) microns3 at 28 DIV, and 2080 +/- 532/10(6) microns3 at 35 DIV. Neuronal cell density was counted in each culture to calculate the relative number of synapses per neuron. The cell density decreased with age from 301 +/- 51/10(6) microns3 at 7 DIV to 39 +/- 9/10(6) microns3 at 35 DIV.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

PMID:
8387174
DOI:
10.1016/0168-0102(93)90076-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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