Diversity and fluctuation of spine morphology in CA1 pyramidal neurons after transient global ischemia

Yi Wen Ruan, Zhigang Lei, Yuan Fan, Bende Zou, Zao C. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Dendritic spines form postsynaptic components of excitatory synapses in CA1 pyramidal neurons and play a key role in excitatory signal transmission. Transient global ischemia is thought to induce excitotoxicity that triggers delayed neuronal death in the CA1 region. However, the mechanism underlying structural changes of excitatory synapses after ischemia is not completely understood. Here, we demonstrate how dendritic spines change in their density and structure at an acute stage after transient global ischemia. Intracellular staining in vivo showed that the total spine density in basal, proximal, and distal apical dendrites increased at 12 hr and 24 hr after ischemia, but returned to control levels at 48 hr after ischemia. Consistent increase of spine density mainly appeared in non-late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons, although late depolarizing postsynaptic potential neurons also showed slight increases in spine density in these dendrites at the same intervals after ischemia. Golgi staining showed increased spine density occurred in less swollen dendrites but decreased spine density appeared in severely swollen dendrites at 12 and 24 hr after ischemia. In addition, the density and percentage of stubby spines reduced at 12 hr and 48 hr, whereas the density of thin spines increased at 12 hr after ischemia. The density and percentage of filopodia increased nearly fivefold at 24 hr after ischemia. Moreover, the density of mushroom spines doubled and its percentage increased by 150% at 48 hr after ischemia. These morphological changes of spines may be related to neuronal injury in CA1 pyramidal neurons after ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 31 2009


  • Dendrite
  • Filopodia
  • Hippocampus
  • Rats
  • Spine density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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