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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 25;8(9):e75248. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075248. eCollection 2013.

Ultrastructural abnormalities in CA1 hippocampus caused by deletion of the actin regulator WAVE-1.

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Department of Anatomy and Histology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest, Hungary.


By conveying signals from the small GTPase family of proteins to the Arp2/3 complex, proteins of the WAVE family facilitate actin remodeling. The WAVE-1 isoform is expressed at high levels in brain, where it plays a role in normal synaptic processing, and is implicated in hippocampus-dependent memory retention. We used electron microscopy to determine whether synaptic structure is modified in the hippocampus of WAVE-1 knockout mice, focusing on the neuropil of CA1 stratum radiatum. Mice lacking WAVE-1 exhibited alterations in the morphology of both axon terminals and dendritic spines; the relationship between the synaptic partners was also modified. The abnormal synaptic morphology we observed suggests that signaling through WAVE-1 plays a critical role in establishing normal synaptic architecture in the rodent hippocampus.

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