Axonal spines in Purkinje cells of ankyrin-G-deficient mice

Schultz, C., Ghebremedhin, E., Del Turco, D., Politi, C., Bennett, V. and Deller, T. (2006). Axonal spines in Purkinje cells of ankyrin-G-deficient mice. In: FENS Forum Abstracts. The 5th Forum of European Neuroscience, Vienna, Austria, (221-221). 8-12 July 2006.

Author Schultz, C.
Ghebremedhin, E.
Del Turco, D.
Politi, C.
Bennett, V.
Deller, T.
Title of paper Axonal spines in Purkinje cells of ankyrin-G-deficient mice
Conference name The 5th Forum of European Neuroscience
Conference location Vienna, Austria
Conference dates 8-12 July 2006
Proceedings title FENS Forum Abstracts
Publication Year 2006
Sub-type Poster
Volume 3
Start page 221
End page 221
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Spiny membranous protrusions receiving excitatory synaptic input are a characteristic feature of dendrites. Here we demonstrate that spines can be induced in axons by interfering with the structural integrity of the axon initial segment (AIS). Axonal spines were identified in a mouse model with a cerebellum-specific knock-out for ankyrin-G (AnkG). AnkG is a membrane cytoskeleton adapter that is required for restriction of the voltage-gated Na channel, neurofascin, and beta-4 spectrin at the AIS. The morphology of Purkinje cells in AnkG -/- mice was examined using calbindin immunohistochemistry. Surprisingly, a fraction of AnkG -/- Purkinje cell axons traversing the granule cell layer was densely covered with spines. These spiny axons could be followed for up to 150 µm and eventually fasciculated with non-spiny axonal processes of Purkinje cells within the white matter. The size and shape of spines covering these processes was similar to that of spines normally associated with Purkinje cell dendrites. The axonal nature of the spine-bearing processes was verified by immunostaining against the axonal marker tau protein. Interestingly, spine-bearing axons received dense synaptic input as indicated by numerous synaptophysin-positive boutons contacting either the shaft or the spines of these axons. These aberrant axo-axonal terminals were characterized using markers against GABAergic (anti-GAD65) and glutamatergic terminals (anti-VGlut1). Spine-bearing axons were contacted by both GABAergic and glutamatergic boutons. These results indicate that aberrant axonal spines can be induced by interfering with the structural integrity of the AIS-specific membrane cytoskeleton. The associaton of such dendritic features with AnkG-deficient axons indicates that the AnkG-based membrane cytoskeleton of the AIS contributes to the maintenance of axo-dendritic polarity.
Subjects 1109 Neurosciences
1103 Clinical Sciences
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Session 227 - Neuronal polarity Abstract A227.4

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Created: Wed, 03 Mar 2010, 14:36:03 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of Faculty of Science