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Circadian clock regulates the shape and content of dendritic spines in mouse barrel cortex.


ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythmicity affects neuronal activity induced changes in the density of synaptic contacts and dendritic spines, the most common location of synapses, in mouse somatosensory cortex. In the present study we analyzed morphology of single- and double-synapse spines under light/dark (12:12) and constant darkness conditions. Using serial electron micrographs we examined the shape of spines (stubby, thin, mushroom) and their content (smooth endoplasmic reticulum, spine apparatus), because these features are related to the maturation and stabilization of spines. We observed significant diurnal and circadian changes in the shape of spines that are differentially regulated: single-synapse spines remain under circadian clock regulation, while changes of double-synapse spines are driven by light. The thin and mushroom single-synapse spines, regardless of their content, are more stable comparing with the stubby single-synapse spines that show the greatest diversity. All types of double-synapse spines demonstrate a similar level of stability. In light/dark regime, formation of new mushroom single-synapse spines occurs, while under constant darkness new stubby single-synapse spines are formed. There are no shape preferences for new double-synapse spines. Diurnal and circadian alterations also concern spine content: both light exposure and the clock influence translocation of smooth endoplasmic reticulum from dendritic shaft to the spine. The increasing number of mushroom single-synapse spines and the presence of only those mushroom double-synapse spines that contain spine apparatus in the light phase indicates that the exposure to light, a stress factor for nocturnal animals, promotes enlargement and maturation of spines to increase synaptic strength and to enhance the effectiveness of neurotransmission.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6857954 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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