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2-Panel Line Plot Depicting Nerve Synapse Shape Analysis

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The analysis of the dynamically changing shape of synapses in neurons is shown.

The top graph has a superimposed set of images of a single nerve cell synapse acquired using time lapse fluorescence microscopy. The binarized images were analyzed for their elliptical form (length over breadth) in an image analysis program, and the results were exported to Origin via Microsoft® Excel. The bottom graph shows the derivative of this measure (line plot), a threshold value of dEF/dt shaded in grey (high-low-close plot), and periods of rapid change highlighted with bars. The points where the absolute value of dEF/dt passed the threshold were determined through Origin scripts. These data were plotted in three linked layers.

The graph was prepared using Origin 6.1 and Origin 7.5 by Thomas A. Blanpied, an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He studies nerve cells, their synaptic connections, and the cellular machinery that controls the protein content of the cell membrane and synapses, using electrophysiology and multicolor live-cell confocal microscopy.

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