High-Resolution in Vivo Imaging of Hippocampal Dendrites and Spines

Adi Mizrahi*, Justin C. Crowley, Eran Shtoyerman, Lawrence C. Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Structural changes in hippocampal dendrites and dendritic spines are thought to be a consequence of a wide range of experience- and activity-dependent manipulations. We explored the dynamics of hippocampal dendritic spines in vivo by developing a surgical preparation of the adult mouse brain that enabled two-photon imaging of fluorescently labeled CA1 pyramidal neurons. Dendritic trees and spines were repeatedly visualized over many hours in exquisite detail. We tested spine stability under both control conditions and during prolonged epileptic seizures. Remarkably, spines remained structurally stable after 30 min of experimental induction of epileptic seizures. Spines began to disappear only several hours after induction of epileptic activity. We thus demonstrate that this technique provides a methodology for direct in vivo optical studies of the intact mammalian hippocampus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3147-3151
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number13
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrite
  • Epilepsy
  • Hippocampus
  • Morphometry
  • Seizure
  • Two-photon imaging


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