Probing synaptic signaling with quantum dots.

TitleProbing synaptic signaling with quantum dots.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDe Koninck P, Labrecque S, Heyes CD, Wiseman PW
JournalHFSP J
Volume1
Issue1
Pagination5-10
Date Published2007 May
ISSN1955-2068
Abstract

Synapses are the principal substrates of neuronal communication in the brain. Neuroscientists are trying to understand how the remodeling of synapses at the molecular level leads to changes in learning and memory. The lateral movement of neurotransmitter receptors is emerging as an important mechanism in the control of synaptic transmission. However, our understanding of the spatial dynamics of membrane receptors at synapses has been limited largely because of a lack of appropriate tools to resolve single receptors in living cells. Fluorescent quantum dots represent promising probes to monitor individual synaptic receptors in living neural circuits. Bats and colleagues (Bats, Groc, and Choquet, Neuron 53, 719, 2007) used quantum dots to track the ins and outs of glutamate receptors at synapses, showing that the receptors bring company as they diffuse in the synapse to become trapped via their partner's local connections. Their study sheds new light on the mechanisms used by synapses to change their efficacy, which may impact on our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory.

DOI10.2976/1.2735016/10.2976/1
Alternate JournalHFSP J
PubMed ID19404455
PubMed Central IDPMC2645557

Funding

Our research endeavors are made possible by the following agencies:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT)Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec NARSAD Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) - Conseil de recherche en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG)innovation.caHuman Frontier Science Program