Ultrastructural abnormalities in CA1 hippocampus caused by deletion of the actin regulator WAVE-1

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 25;8(9):e75248. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075248. eCollection 2013.


By conveying signals from the small GTPase family of proteins to the Arp2/3 complex, proteins of the WAVE family facilitate actin remodeling. The WAVE-1 isoform is expressed at high levels in brain, where it plays a role in normal synaptic processing, and is implicated in hippocampus-dependent memory retention. We used electron microscopy to determine whether synaptic structure is modified in the hippocampus of WAVE-1 knockout mice, focusing on the neuropil of CA1 stratum radiatum. Mice lacking WAVE-1 exhibited alterations in the morphology of both axon terminals and dendritic spines; the relationship between the synaptic partners was also modified. The abnormal synaptic morphology we observed suggests that signaling through WAVE-1 plays a critical role in establishing normal synaptic architecture in the rodent hippocampus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / ultrastructure
  • Hippocampus / abnormalities*
  • Hippocampus / ultrastructure*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / deficiency*


  • Actins
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family