Shared Data for 1989 Harris & Stevens

Harris KM, Stevens JK (1989) Dendritic spines of CA1 pyramidal cells in the rat hippocampus: serial electron microscopy with reference to their biophysical characteristics. J. Neurosci. 9:2982-2997. (PDF)

Serial electron microscopy and 3D reconstructions of dendritic spines from hippocampal area CA1 dendrites were obtained to evaluate 2 questions about relationships between spine geometry and synaptic efficacy. First, under what biophysical conditions are the spine necks likely to reduce the magnitude of charge transferred from the synapses on the spine heads to the recipient dendrite? Second, is spine geometry associated with other anatomical indicators of synaptic efficacy, including the area of the postsynaptic density and the number of vesicles in the presynaptic axon? Reconstructed spines were graphically edited into head and neck compartments, and their dimensions were measured, the areas of the postsynaptic densities (PSD) were measured, and all of the vesicles in the presynaptic axonal varicosities were counted. The dimensions of the spine head were well correlated with the area of PSD and the number of vesicles in the presynaptic axonal varicosity. Spine neck diameter and length were not correlated with PSD area, head volume, or the number of vesicles. These results suggest that the dimensions of the spine head, but not the spine neck, reflect differences in synaptic efficacy.

Here are Reconstruct trace files for sections of series K18 and K24.

Perfusion Conditions and Standard Tissue Processing

The perfusion conditions and standard tissue processing procedures for this paper are described in full here.