1. Neuroscience
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Ultrastructural comparison of dendritic spine morphology preserved with cryo and chemical fixation

  1. Hiromi Tamada
  2. Jerome Blanc
  3. Natalya Korogod
  4. Carl CH Petersen  Is a corresponding author
  5. Graham William Knott  Is a corresponding author
  1. Nagoya University, Japan
  2. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. Haute École de Santé Vaud, Switzerland
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e56384 doi: 10.7554/eLife.56384

Abstract

Previously we showed that cryo fixation of adult mouse brain tissue gave a truer representation of brain ultrastructure in comparison with a standard chemical fixation method (Korogod et al 2005). Extracellular space matched physiological measurements, there were larger numbers of docked vesicles and less glial coverage of synapses and blood capillaries. Here, using the same preservation approaches we compared the morphology of dendritic spines. We show that the length of the spine and the volume of its head is unchanged, however, the spine neck width is thinner by more than 30 % after cryo fixation. In addition, the weak correlation between spine neck width and head volume seen after chemical fixation was not present in cryo-fixed spines. Our data suggest that spine neck geometry is independent of the spine head volume, with cryo fixation showing enhanced spine head compartmentalization and a higher predicted electrical resistance between spine head and parent dendrite.

Data availability

All data generated during this study are included in the manuscript and the supporting files. Source data files are provided for all results. These are: Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Figure supplements for Figure 1 and 2.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Hiromi Tamada

    Functional Anatomy and Neuroscience, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Jerome Blanc

    School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Natalya Korogod

    School of health sciences, Haute École de Santé Vaud, Lausanne, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Carl CH Petersen

    Laboratory of Sensory Processing, Brain Mind Institute, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    For correspondence
    carl.petersen@epfl.ch
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3344-4495
  5. Graham William Knott

    School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
    For correspondence
    graham.knott@epfl.ch
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2956-9052

Funding

Swiss National Science Foundation (31003A_182010)

  • Carl CH Petersen

Swiss National Science Foundation (31003A_170082)

  • Graham William Knott

Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JP17K019)

  • Hiromi Tamada

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the rules issued by the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, under authorization 1889 issued by the 'Service de la consommation et des affaires vétérinaires' of the Canton de Vaud, Switzerland. The animals were handled according to approved institutional guidelines and under the experimentation license 1889.3 (Swiss Federal Veterinary Office).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Moritz Helmstaedter, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: March 2, 2020
  2. Accepted: December 4, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 4, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 18, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Tamada et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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