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TitleLabel-free visualization of ultrastructural features of artificial synapses via cryo-EM.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGopalakrishnan, Gopakumar, Patricia T. Yam, Carolin Madwar, Mihnea Bostina, Isabelle Rouiller, David R. Colman, and Bruce R Lennox
JournalACS Chem Neurosci
Date Published2011 Dec 21
KeywordsAffinity Labels, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Cryoelectron Microscopy, Hippocampus, Neurons, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Synapses

The ultrastructural details of presynapses formed between artificial substrates of submicrometer silica beads and hippocampal neurons are visualized via cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The silica beads are derivatized by poly-d-lysine or lipid bilayers. Molecular features known to exist at presynapses are clearly present at these artificial synapses, as visualized by cryo-EM. Key synaptic features such as the membrane contact area at synaptic junctions, the presynaptic bouton containing presynaptic vesicles, as well as microtubular structures can be identified. This is the first report of the direct, label-free observation of ultrastructural details of artificial synapses.

Alternate JournalACS Chem Neurosci
PubMed ID22860164
PubMed Central IDPMC3369721
Grant ListMOP-86693 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada