Multiphoton Imaging Approaches for Studying Striatal Dendritic Excitability

  • Joshua L. PlotkinEmail author
  • D. James Surmeier
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1183)


As the main input nucleus to the basal ganglia, the striatum is responsible for receiving and integrating highly convergent afferents to ultimately guide action selection and movement initiation. Although the majority of this synaptic integration occurs in the dendrites of striatal projection neurons (SPNs), their thin diameter makes them inaccessible with traditional recording electrodes. Recent advances in optical imaging technologies have allowed us and others to start lifting the veil on the mechanisms governing synaptic integration in the striatum by enabling direct dendritic measurements and manipulations. Here we describe how our lab has approached combining 2-photon imaging and photolysis with electrophysiological recordings to study dendritic excitability and synaptic integration in the striatum.

Key words

2-Photon imaging 2-Photon uncaging Calcium imaging Striatum Dendritic morphology 



We thank Drs. David Wokosin and Michelle Day for their invaluable contributions to establishing this technology in our laboratory. This work was funded by CHDI.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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