Functional imaging of single synapses in brain slices

Oertner, T. G. (November 2002) Functional imaging of single synapses in brain slices. Experimental Physiology, 87 (6). pp. 733-736. ISSN 0958-0670



The strength of synaptic connections in the brain is not fixed, but can be modulated by numerous mechanisms. Traditionally, electrophysiology has been used to characterize connections between neurons. Electrophysiology typically reports the activity of populations of synapses, while most mechanisms of plasticity are thought to operate at the level of single synapses. Recently, two-photon laser scanning microscopy has enabled us to perform optical quantal analysis of individual synapses in intact brain tissue. Here we introduce the basic principle of the two-photon microscope and discuss its main differences compared to the confocal microscope. Using calcium imaging in dendritic spines as an example, we explain the advantages of simultaneous dual-dye imaging for quantitative calcium measurements and address two common problems, dye saturation and background fluorescence subtraction.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: Investigative techniques and equipment > electrophysiology > brain slice
Investigative techniques and equipment > imaging
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > sub-cellular tissues: types and functions > synapse
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Svoboda lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: November 2002
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 15:03
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2014 15:03
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