Large-scale imaging of subcellular calcium dynamics of cortical neurons with G-CaMP6-actin

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Understanding the information processing performed by a single neuron requires the monitoring of physiological dynamics from a variety of subcellular compartments including dendrites and axons. In this study, we showed that the expression of a fusion protein, consisting of a Ca2+ indicator protein (G-CaMP6) and a cytoskeleton protein (actin), enabled large-scale recording of Ca2+ dynamics from hundreds of postsynaptic spines and presynaptic boutons in a cortical pyramidal cell. At dendritic spines, G-CaMP6-actin had the potential to detect localized Ca2+ activity triggered by subthreshold synaptic inputs. Back-propagating action potentials reliably induced Ca2+ fluorescent increases in all spines. At axonal boutons, G-CaMP6-actin reported action potential trains propagating along axonal collaterals. The detectability of G-CaMP6-actin should contribute toward a deeper understanding of neural network architecture and dynamics at the level of individual synapses.

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