Page 39

CIM29

N°29 I quarterly I APRIL 2013 Snapshot | 39 Building up Memories BY Isabelle Tratner wWhen memorizing long-term olfactive information, neurons develop new synapses, in other words, new interactions with neighboring neurons. An increase in synaptic activity can be detected by fluorescent microscopy imaging. In this case, the green fluorescent staining highlights a specific synaptic protein named synaptophysin. The green spots are therefore new synapses connected to the blue DAPI-labeled neurons. This image of the rat’s orbitofrontal cortex was obtained by Bruno Bontempi and his team at the IMN1 while exploring how the brain can form and store enduring olfactory memories.2 Besides these changes in the architecture of cortical networks (structural plasticity), their findings demonstrated that an initial step of “early tagging of cortical neurons” by specific proteins is required to allow the progressive integration and longterm stabilization of memories within these neurons a few weeks later. 01. Institut des maladies neurodégénératives (CNRS / Université Bordeaux-II). 02. E. Lesburguères et al., Science, 2011. 331:924-8. Contact Information: IMN, Bordeaux. Bruno Bontempi > bruno.bontempi@u-bordeaux2.fr © B. Bontempi /CNRS photothèque


CIM29
To see the actual publication please follow the link above