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Mapping Synaptic Inputs of Developing Neurons Using Calcium Imaging

Research group Lohmann
Publication year 2017
Published in Methods in Molecular Biology
Authors Johan Winnubst, C. Lohmann

Studying changing synaptic activity patterns during development provides a wealth of information on how activity-dependent processes shape synaptic connectivity. In this chapter we introduce a method that combines whole-cell electrophysiology with calcium imaging to map functional synaptic sites on the dendritic tree and follow their activity over time. The key strength of this method lies in its ability to distinguish between synaptic and non-synaptic calcium signaling by their coincidence with synaptic currents measured at the soma. Next to the required materials and protocols that are necessary to perform these experiments, we thoroughly discuss how the acquired data can be analyzed. Since this method can be employed in many neuronal systems we believe that it can be a valuable tool to study developmental changes in synaptic connectivity.

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