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Nat Commun. 2015 Oct 5;6:8436. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9436.

Electrical behaviour of dendritic spines as revealed by voltage imaging.

Author information

1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.
2
Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Belgrade University, Belgrade 11030, Serbia.
3
Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.
4
Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest H-1083, Hungary.
5
The Faculty of Information Technology, Pázmány Péter University, Budapest H-1083, Hungary.
6
Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.

Abstract

Thousands of dendritic spines on individual neurons process information and mediate plasticity by generating electrical input signals using a sophisticated assembly of transmitter receptors and voltage-sensitive ion channel molecules. Our understanding, however, of the electrical behaviour of spines is limited because it has not been possible to record input signals from these structures with adequate sensitivity and spatiotemporal resolution. Current interpretation of indirect data and speculations based on theoretical considerations are inconclusive. Here we use an electrochromic voltage-sensitive dye which acts as a transmembrane optical voltmeter with a linear scale to directly monitor electrical signals from individual spines on thin basal dendrites. The results show that synapses on these spines are not electrically isolated by the spine neck to a significant extent. Electrically, they behave as if they are located directly on dendrites.

PMID:
26436431
PMCID:
PMC4594633
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms9436
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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