FIB/SEM technology and high-throughput 3D reconstruction of dendritic spines and synapses in GFP-labeled adult-generated neurons

Carles Bosch, Albert Martínez, Nuria Masachs, Cátia M. Teixeira, Isabel Fernaud, Fausto Ulloa, Esther Pérez-Martínez, Carlos Lois, Joan X. Comella, Javier De-Felipe, Angel Merchán-Pérez, Eduardo Soriano

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38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 Bosch, Martínez, Masachs, Teixeira, Fernaud, Ulloa, Pérez-Martínez, Lois, Comella, DeFelipe, Merchán-Pérez and Soriano. The fine analysis of synaptic contacts is usually performed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and its combination with neuronal labeling techniques. However, the complex 3D architecture of neuronal samples calls for their reconstruction from serial sections. Here we show that focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) allows efficient, complete, and automatic 3D reconstruction of identified dendrites, including their spines and synapses, from GFP/DAB-labeled neurons, with a resolution comparable to that of TEM. We applied this technology to analyze the synaptogenesis of labeled adult-generated granule cells (GCs) in mice. 3D reconstruction of dendritic spines in GCs aged 3–4 and 8–9 weeks revealed two different stages of dendritic spine development and unexpected features of synapse formation, including vacant and branched dendritic spines and presynaptic terminals establishing synapses with up to 10 dendritic spines. Given the reliability, efficiency, and high resolution of FIB/SEM technology and the wide use of DAB in conventional EM, we consider FIB/SEM fundamental for the detailed characterization of identified synaptic contacts in neurons in a high-throughput manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2015

Keywords

  • 3D-reconstruction
  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Dendritic spines
  • Electron microscopy
  • FIB/SEM
  • Synapses

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