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Creators/Authors contains: "Bushong, Eric A."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. The biophysical properties of sensory neurons are influenced by their morphometric and morphological features, whose precise measurements require high-quality volume electron microscopy (EM). However, systematic surveys of these nanoscale characteristics for identified neurons are scarce. Here, we characterize the morphology of Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) across the majority of genetically identified sensory hairs.By analyzing serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) images of cryo fixed antennal tissues, we compile an extensive morphometric dataset based on 122reconstructed 3D models of 33 identifiedORN types.In addition, we observe multiple novel features—including extracellular vacuoles within sensillum lumen, intricate dendritic branching,mitochondria enrichment in select ORNs, novelmore »sensillum types, and empty sensilla containing no neurons—which raise new questions pertinent to cell biology and sensory neurobiology.Our systematic survey is critical for future investigations into how the size and shape of sensory neurons influence their responses, sensitivity and circuit function.« less
  3. Dorsal Excitor motor neuron DE-3 in the medicinal leech plays three very different dynamical roles in three different behaviors. Without rewiring its anatomical connectivity, how can a motor neuron dynamically switch roles to play appropriate roles in various behaviors? We previously used voltage-sensitive dye imaging to record from DE-3 and most other neurons in the leech segmental ganglion during (fictive) swimming, crawling, and local-bend escape (Tomina and Wagenaar, 2017). Here, we repeated that experiment, then re-imaged the same ganglion using serial blockface electron microscopy and traced DE-3’s processes. Further, we traced back the processes of DE-3’s presynaptic partners to theirmore »respective somata. This allowed us to analyze the relationship between circuit anatomy and the activity patterns it sustains. We found that input synapses important for all the behaviors were widely distributed over DE-3’s branches, yet that functional clusters were different during (fictive) swimming vs. crawling.« less
  4. In the highly dynamic metabolic landscape of a neuron, mitochondrial membrane architectures can provide critical insight into the unique energy balance of the cell. Current theoretical calculations of functional outputs like ATP and heat often represent mitochondria as idealized geometries and therefore can miscalculate the metabolic fluxes. To analyze mitochondrial morphology in neurons of mouse cerebellum neuropil, 3D tracings of complete synaptic and axonal mitochondria were constructed using a database of serial TEM tomographyimages and converted to watertight meshes with minimal distortion of the original microscopy volumes with agranularity of 1.6 nanometer isotropic voxels. The resulting in silico representations weremore »subsequently quantified by differential geometry methods in terms of the mean and Gaussian curvatures, surface areas, volumes, and membrane motifs, all of which can alter the metabolic output of the organelle. Finally, we identify structural motifs that are present across this population of mitochondria; observations which may contribute to future modeling studies of mitochondrial physiology and metabolism in neurons.« less