Vesicle Clusters (vesicle + cluster)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Bone morphogenetic protein-7 enhances dendritic growth and receptivity to innervation in cultured hippocampal neurons

G. S. Withers
Abstract Members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of growth factors are present in the central nervous system during development and throughout life. They are known to play an important regulatory role in cell differentiation, but their function in postmitotic telencephalic neurons has not been investigated. To address this question, we examined cultured hippocampal neurons following treatment with bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7, also referred to as osteogenic protein-1). When added at the time of plating, BMP-7 markedly stimulated the rate of dendritic development. Within 1 day, the dendritic length of BMP-7-treated neurons was more than twice that of controls. By three days the dendritic arbors of BMP-7-treated neurons had attained a level of branching similar to that of 2-week-old neurons cultured under standard conditions. Several findings indicate that BMP-7 selectively enhances dendritic development. While dendritic length was significantly increased in BMP-7-treated neurons, the length of the axon was not. In addition, the mRNA encoding the dendritic protein MAP2 was significantly increased by BMP-7 treatment, but the mRNA for tubulin was not. Finally, BMP-7 did not enhance cell survival. Because dendritic maturation is a rate-limiting step in synapse formation in hippocampal cultures, we examined whether BMP-7 accelerated the rate at which neurons became receptive to innervation. Using two separate experimental paradigms, we found that the rate of synapse formation (assessed by counting synapsin I-positive presynaptic vesicle clusters) was increased significantly in neurons that had been exposed previously to BMP-7. Because BMP-7 and related BMPs are expressed in the hippocampus in situ, these factors may play a role in regulating dendritic branching and synapse formation in both development and plasticity. [source]

Three-photon microscopy shows that somatic release can be a quantitatively significant component of serotonergic neurotransmission in the mammalian brain

S.K. Kaushalya
Abstract Recent experiments on monoaminergic neurons have shown that neurotransmission can originate from somatic release. However, little is known about the quantity of monoamine available to be released through this extrasynaptic pathway or about the intracellular dynamics that mediate such release. Using three-photon microscopy, we directly imaged serotonin autofluorescence and investigated the total serotonin content, release competence, and release kinetics of somatic serotonergic vesicles in the dorsal raphe neurons of the rat. We found that the somata of primary cultured neurons contain a large number of serotonin-filled vesicles arranged in a perinuclear fashion. A similar distribution is also observed in fresh tissue slice preparations obtained from the rat dorsal raphe. We estimate that the soma of a cultured neuron on an average contains about 9 fmoles of serotonin in about 450 vesicles (or vesicle clusters) of ,370 nm average diameter. A substantial fraction (>30%) of this serotonin is released with a time scale of several minutes by K+ -induced depolarization or by para-chloroamphetamine treatment. The amount of releasable serotonin stored in the somatic vesicles is comparable to the total serotonin content of all the synaptic vesicles in a raphe neuron, indicating that somatic release can potentially play a major role in serotonergic neurotransmission in the mammalian brain. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Effects of wortmannin and latrunculin A on slow endocytosis at the frog neuromuscular junction

D. A. Richards
Phosphoinositides are key regulators of synaptic vesicle cycling and endocytic traffic; the actin cytoskeleton also seems to be involved in modulating these processes. We investigated the effects of perturbing phosphoinositide signalling and actin dynamics on vesicle cycling in frog motor nerve terminals, using fluorescence and electron microscopy, and electrophysiology. Antibody staining for ,-actin revealed that actin surrounds but does not overlap with synaptic vesicle clusters. Latrunculin A, which disrupts actin filaments by binding actin monomers, and wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase (PI3-kinase), each disrupted the pattern of presynaptic actin staining, but not vesicle clusters in resting terminals. Latrunculin A, but not wortmannin, also reduced vesicle mobilization and exocytosis. Both drugs inhibited the stimulation-induced uptake of the styryl dye FM1-43 and blocked vesicle reformation from internalized membrane objects after tetanic stimulation. These results are consistent with a role of PI3-kinase and the actin cytoskeleton in the slow pathway of vesicle endocytosis, used primarily by reserve pool vesicles. [source]