Atomic force microscopic observation of three-dimensional morphological changes of neurons when stimulated by a neurotransmitter

Tomoko Hosono, Mari Yamanaka, Takuro Tojima, Yukako Yamane, Hisayo Sadamoto, Dai Hatakeyama, Hisashi Haga, Kazushige Kawabata, Kazuhiro Abe, Etsuro Ito

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As the first step in the study of morphological changes in neurons associated with their functional changes, we applied atomic force microscopy (AFM) for the observation of fine three-dimensional morphological changes in rat cerebellar granule cells stimulated by an agonist of glutamate receptors, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). The AFM revealed that NMDA changed the cross-sections of cell bodies from a trapezoid-like form to a triangle-like form within a minute. The fine hill-like structures on the top surfaces of the cell bodies became wider during the same period. These results were suggested to be induced by the depolymerization of filamentous actin triggered by the entry of Ca2+ via cation channels complexed with the activated NMDA receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3940-3945
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 1: Regular Papers and Short Notes and Review Papers
Issue number6 B
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jun 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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