Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology


Source: Murthy Lab

Gallery Image

"A typical neuron in the mammalian brain receives thousands of synaptic inputs and sends out information through thousands of output synapses. Experience alters the brain by making, modifying or eliminating these synapses. To facilitate the study of these processes in living brain tissue, the individual parts of the neuron can be labeled using fluorescent proteins. In this image, one neuron is labeled in red using a cytosolic dye introduced through a microelectrode. Another neuron expresses a fluorescent presynaptic marker called VAMP-EGFP. The green puncta are individual synapses (each synapse is around 1 micron in size), some of which can be seen contacting the red neuron. In this experiment, we also recorded electrical activity in the neurons using the patch-clamp method - the glass microelectrodes can be observed contacting the cell bodies of two neurons. The elaborate dendrites and presynaptic boutons highlight the complexity of connections in the brain."

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updated: 05/23/2016