The Role of Cytoskeletal Morphology in the Nanoorganization of Synapse
MetadataShow full item record
Synapse is the fundamental unit of synaptic transmission. Learning, memory and neurodegenerative diseases of the brain are attributed to the maintenance and alteration in synaptic connections. The efficiency for synaptic transmission depends on how well the post synapse receives the signals from the presynapse; this in turn depends on the receptors present in the post synaptic density (PSD). PSD is present in the post synapse right opposite to the neurotransmitter release site in presynapse (active zone) is an indispensable part of the synapse. The PSD is comprised of receptors and scaffold proteins, which is ultimately supported by the actin cytoskeleton of the dendritic spines. Cytoskeletal dynamics is shown to influence the structural plasticity of spine and also PSD, but how it regulates the dynamicity of the synaptic transmission is not completely understood. Here we studied the influence of actin depolymerisation on sub synaptic organization of an excitatory synapse. In order to study the organization of the synapse at molecular resolution, the conventional microscopy cannot be employed due to the limit of diffraction. Super resolution microscopy circumvents this diffraction limitation. In this study we have used custom built fluorescence microscope with Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) modality to observe the nanometre sized structures inside spines of mouse hippocampal primary neurons. The setup was integrated with Metamorph imaging software for both operating the microscope and imaging acquisition purpose with a separate appropriate laser system. This setup was successful in achieving the lateral resolution of ~30nm and axial resolution of ~51nm. Over all we were able to observe the loss of spines and significant reduction in area of nanometer sized protein clusters in postsynaptic density with in the spines of latrunculin A treated mouse hippocampal primary neurons compared to the native neurons. Along with the morphological alterations in neurons we also observed the changes in nanoscale organization of few key molecules in the postsynaptic density.