Sleep and waking modulate spine turnover in the adolescent mouse cortex

Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 9;14(11):1418-20. doi: 10.1038/nn.2934.


Cortical development involves synaptic formation and elimination. Although synaptogenesis predominates in the early stages and pruning in the later stages, the two processes are thought to happen concurrently. In adults, synaptic strength is modulated by behavioral state, and we asked whether synaptic remodeling may be affected by sleep and waking states. Using two-photon microscopy in adolescent mice, we found that waking results in a net increase in cortical spines, whereas sleep is associated with net spine loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / growth & development
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Electromyography
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Motor Activity
  • Neurons / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • yellow fluorescent protein, Bacteria