Submitted by Miquel Bosch of the Bear Lab at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Bear Lab, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
"This is a two-photon microscopy image of a live neuron from an organotypic rat hippocampal slice culture transfected with PSD-95-mCherry to visualize sites of postsynaptic contacts. Each bright puncta is an excitatory synapse. We were testing a virus designed to infect neurons to express PSD-95-mCherry, which will show us the position of the excitatory synapses. Our goal was to inject this virus in the rat brain and perform in vivo two-photon live imaging of the evolution of synaptic contacts during experience-driven morphological changes in the visual cortex network.
Our larger goal is to unravel the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory at the most fundamental level: the individual synapse."