Neurofilament Levels in Dendritic Spines Associate with Synaptic Status
Clara-Marie Gürth, Maria Augusta do Rego Barros Fernandes Lima, Victor Macarrón Palacios, Angel Rafael Cereceda Delgado, Jasmine Hubrich, Elisa D'Este
neurofilaments; synapses; dendritic spines; STED nanoscopy
Neurofilaments are one of the main cytoskeletal components in neurons; they can be found in the form of oligomers at pre- and postsynapses. How their presence is regulated at the postsynapse remains largely unclear. Here we systematically quantified, by immunolabeling, the occurrence of the neurofilament isoform triplet neurofilament light (NFL), medium (NFM), and heavy (NFH) at the postsynapse using STED nanoscopy together with markers of synaptic strength and activity. Our data show that, within dendritic spines, neurofilament isoforms rarely colocalize with each other and that they are present to different extents, with NFL being the most abundant isoform. The amount of the three isoforms correlates with markers of postsynaptic strength and presynaptic activity to varying degrees: NFL shows the highest correlation to both synaptic traits, suggesting its involvement in synaptic response, while NFM exhibits the lowest correlations. By quantifying the presence of neurofilaments at the postsynapse within the context of the synaptic status, this work sheds new light on the regulation of synaptic neurofilaments and their possible contribution to synaptopathies.