You are currently viewing 📰 A methodological leap to explore memory

📰 A methodological leap to explore memory

Neurons communicate with each other through synapses, areas of close contact where neurotransmitter molecules are released by a neuron and act on receptors embedded in the membrane of the neuron positioned opposite.

Mobility of glutamate receptors on the surface of a neuron (A neuron, or nerve cell, is an excitable cell constituting the functional unit…) hippocampus rat (The word “rat” designates in French, in the vernacular…)measured by tracking individual molecules.
© Benjamin Compans and Daniel Choquet / IINS / CNRS-University of Bordeaux

According to previous work by Daniel Choquet’s team, searcher (A researcher (fem. researcher) refers to a person whose job is to do research…) to CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by its acronym CNRS, is the largest…) and director ofInstitute (An institute is a permanent organization created for a certain purpose. It is…) interdisciplinary (Interdisciplinary work incorporates concepts from different disciplines.) of the neuroscience (The neurosciences correspond to the set of all biological disciplines and…) (CNRS/University of Bordeaux), these receptors are not fixed but constantly move in the membrane. The same scientists then suggested, then demonstrated indirectly, that these movements modify the number (The notion of number in linguistics is treated in the article “Number…) of receptors present at a moment (The instant designates the smallest constituent element of time. The instant is not…) given in a synapse, thus adjusting the efficiency of transmission between neurons, and therefore certain forms oflearning (Learning is the acquisition of know-how, i.e. the process…) and of memory (Generally speaking, memory is the storage of information. It is also remembering…).

However, nothing had until now made it possible to observe the mobility of the receptors in situin more natural situations than neuron cultures. It is now done: thanks to the development of a complete “toolbox”, scientists have been able to verify that this mobility exists in intact brain tissue, and that it is essential for certain forms of memory, such as memory of contextual fear tested here. This “toolbox” is composed of a new model animal (An animal (from the Latin animus, spirit, or vital principle) is, according to the classical classification, a…)of a technology (The word technology has two de facto meanings:) improved byimagery (Imagery is primarily the making and trading of physical images that…) high-resolution and marking techniques and control (The word control can have several meanings. It can be used as a synonym of examination, of…) of the dynamic (The word dynamic is often used to designate or qualify what relates to movement. It…) receivers. It will make it possible to study any region of the brain (The brain is the main organ of the central nervous system of animals. The brain processes…) (in addition to the hippocampus), can be transposed to other types of receptors, and will be used by the team to study the possible role of receptor mobility in mental retardation and in autism spectrum disorders.

Neuron in hippocampal slice of mouse model developed point (graphics) by the team, in which the glutamate receptor GluA2 is “tagged” in such a way that an isolated neuron can be marked.
Magenta: labeling of GluA2, on the dendrites of the neuron.
Green: soluble GFP which labels the cell body and theaxon (An axon or nerve fiber is the long, thin, cylindrical extension of a neuron that leads…). The neuron is imaged with a microscope sheet (The leaf is the organ specialized in photosynthesis in plants…) of light (Light is the set of electromagnetic waves visible to the eye…)a high-resolution imaging technology.
© Angela Getz, Mathieu Ducros, Daniel Choquet / IINS and BIC / CNRS-University of Bordeaux-Inserm.


High-resolution imaging and manipulation of endogenous AMPA receptor surface mobility during synaptic plasticity and learning,
Angela M. Getz, Mathieu Ducros, Christelle Breillat, Aurélie Lampin-Saint-Amaux, Sophie Daburon, Urielle François, Agata Nowacka, Mónica Fernández-Monreal, Eric Hosy, Frédéric Lanore, Hanna L. Zieger, Matthieu Sainlos, Yann Humeau & Daniel Choquet.
Science AdvancesJuly 27, 2022.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm5298

– Daniel Choquet – CNRS researcher – daniel.choquet at
– Yann Humeau – CNRS researcher – yann.humeau at
– Véronique Etienne – CNRS press officer – veronique.etienne at

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