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Friday, May 02, 2014

How a synapse stays stable when its proteins are renewed

April 30, 2014
During the learning processes, extensions grow on neurons. Synapses are located at the end of these extensions (left: as seen in nature; right: reconstruction). (Credit: MPI of Neurobiology/ Meyer)
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have found an explanation for how a synapse stays stable for a long time despite the fact that its proteins must be renewed regularly.
The researchers studied the growth of synapses in tissue culture dishes following exposure to a learning stimulus. To do this, they activated individual synapses using the neurotransmitter glutamate, which plays an important role in learning processes and stimulates the growth of synapses. The researchers then observed the stimulated synapses and control synapses under a 2-photon microscope and electron microscope./.../

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