Proteomic analysis of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons

Giovanni Piccoli, Chiara Verpelli, Noemi Tonna, Stefano Romorini, Massimo Alessio, Angus C. Nairn, Angela Bachi, Carlo Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following long-term treatment with bicuculline and tetrodotoxin (TTX) aimed at modifying synaptic activity in cultured neurons, we used a proteomic approach to identify the associated changes in protein expression. The neurons were left untreated, or treated with bicuculline or TTX, and fractionated by means of differential detergent extraction, after which the proteins in each fraction were separated by means of two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis, and 57 proteins of interest were identified by mass spectrometry. The proteins that showed altered expression and/or post-translational modifications include proteins or enzymes involved in regulating cell and protein metabolism, the cytoskeleton, or mitochondrial activity. These results suggest that extensive alterations in neuronal protein expression take place as a result of increased or decreased synaptic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3203-3215
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Dendritic spines
  • Excitatory synapses
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Neuroproteomic analysis
  • Phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry


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