Dynamic distribution of endoplasmic reticulum in hippocampal neuron dendritic spines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The role of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localized in dendritic spines has become a subject of intense interest because of its potential functions in local protein synthesis and signal transduction. Although it is recognized from electron microscopic studies that not all spines contain ER, little is know of its dynamic regulation or turnover. Here, we report a surprising degree of turnover of ER within spines. Using confocal microscopy imaging we observed continuity of spine-ER with dendritic ER in hippocampal primary neurons. Over 24 h, less than 50% of spine ER was stable. Despite this high degree of turn over, we identified a significant subset of spines that maintained ER for at least 4 days. These results indicate that within a single neuron, the organelle composition of a spine is unexpectedly dynamic and may explain aspects of the spine-to-spine variation in calcium spike magnitude and localized protein synthesis and trafficking.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences


  • imaging, light microscopy, hippocampus, endoplasmic reticulum, dendritic spine, primary culture
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1798
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Laboratory for Experimental Brain Research (013041000)