Synapses of a neuron in cell culture

Most nerve cells are connected to several 1000 other nerve cells. The picture shows how many contact sites (synapses) are formed along the dendrites of one nerve cell. Each dot represents 1 synapse. Each synapse harbors a large number of synaptic molecules. Three molecules are revealed here, i.e the protein Bassoon (green), the protein Piccolo (blue) and the protein Synaptophysin (red). Synapses that have all three proteins are indicated in white. These proteins are examples of molecules that form, maintain and regulate synapses.


Image details

Image acquisition technique: epifluorescence.
Courtesy Thomas Dresbach (UMG, CNMPB). I took the image at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg with the support of Professor Eckart D. Gundelfinger.