The long-range goal of our research is to understand the structural basis of synaptic plasticity, especially in relationship to learning and memory. The current proposal will test whether conditions that do or do not induce long-term potentiation (LTP) result in structural changes in the rat hippocampus. LTP is an activity-dependent enhancement of synaptic transmission which involves activation of glutamatergic synapses on dendritic spines and is considered to be a good model of some forms of learning. Due to its long endurance (hours to weeks), LTP is thought to involve the formation of new synapses and/or the remodeling of existing synapses. This hypothesis is being tested directly by comparing synaptic structure in the in vivo hippocampal neuropil with hippocampal slices that obtain LTP; have LTP blocked by APV, an antagonist to the NMDA class of glutamate receptors; or receive only non-tetanic control stimulation either in normal media or media with APV. So far the slices with LTP show an increase in one type of dendritic spine (stubby), in the number of synapses per presynaptic bouton, and in glial processes surrounding the synapses. In contrast, the only difference between in vivo hippocampus and control slices is a substantial increase in spines having a large head (mushroom) with a parallel decrease in thin spines. Based on these results, the proposed experiments provide a comprehensive strategy to distinguish among activity-dependent structural changes that share or do not share the same mechanisms as LTP.
The specific aims are: 1) determine whether activation of non-NMDA or metabotropic glutamate receptors is required for the structural changes; 2) ascertain when the structural changes first occur post-tetanus and whether they are altered during later stages of LTP; 3) determine when mushroom dendritic spines first increase in vitro and whether low frequency stimulation retains the high ratio of thin to mushroom spines that occur in vivo and in the tetanized slices. Physiological responses and LTP will be measured in hippocampal slices that will then be rapidly fixed by a microwave-enhanced protocol. The unbiased series sampling method and 3-dimensional reconstructions from serial electron microscopy will be used to determine the underlying frequencies and structure of different types of synapses and glial processes. Given the involvement of glutamatergic synapses in numerous neurological disorders, it is increasingly important to understand their role in normal brain function at the most basic levels.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01NS021184-13
Application #
2771916
Study Section
Neurology A Study Section (NEUA)
Program Officer
Broman, Sarah H
Project Start
1984-07-01
Project End
1999-08-31
Budget Start
1998-09-01
Budget End
1999-08-31
Support Year
13
Fiscal Year
1998
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Children's Hospital Boston
Department
Type
DUNS #
076593722
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
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Bromer, Cailey; Bartol, Thomas M; Bowden, Jared B et al. (2018) Long-term potentiation expands information content of hippocampal dentate gyrus synapses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:E2410-E2418
Smith, Heather L; Bourne, Jennifer N; Cao, Guan et al. (2016) Mitochondrial support of persistent presynaptic vesicle mobilization with age-dependent synaptic growth after LTP. Elife 5:
Watson, Deborah J; Ostroff, Linnaea; Cao, Guan et al. (2016) LTP enhances synaptogenesis in the developing hippocampus. Hippocampus 26:560-76
Bartol, Thomas M; Bromer, Cailey; Kinney, Justin et al. (2015) Nanoconnectomic upper bound on the variability of synaptic plasticity. Elife 4:e10778
Harris, Kristen M; Spacek, Josef; Bell, Maria Elizabeth et al. (2015) A resource from 3D electron microscopy of hippocampal neuropil for user training and tool development. Sci Data 2:150046
Cao, Guan; Harris, Kristen M (2014) Augmenting saturated LTP by broadly spaced episodes of theta-burst stimulation in hippocampal area CA1 of adult rats and mice. J Neurophysiol 112:1916-24
Bell, Maria Elizabeth; Bourne, Jennifer N; Chirillo, Michael A et al. (2014) Dynamics of nascent and active zone ultrastructure as synapses enlarge during long-term potentiation in mature hippocampus. J Comp Neurol 522:3861-84
Edwards, John; Daniel, Eric; Kinney, Justin et al. (2014) VolRoverN: enhancing surface and volumetric reconstruction for realistic dynamical simulation of cellular and subcellular function. Neuroinformatics 12:277-89
Kuwajima, Masaaki; Mendenhall, John M; Harris, Kristen M (2013) Large-volume reconstruction of brain tissue from high-resolution serial section images acquired by SEM-based scanning transmission electron microscopy. Methods Mol Biol 950:253-73

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