Large-scale imaging of subcellular calcium dynamics of cortical neurons with G-CaMP6-actin

Neuroreport. 2014 May 7;25(7):501-6. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000126.


Understanding the information processing performed by a single neuron requires the monitoring of physiological dynamics from a variety of subcellular compartments including dendrites and axons. In this study, we showed that the expression of a fusion protein, consisting of a Ca²⁺ indicator protein (G-CaMP6) and a cytoskeleton protein (actin), enabled large-scale recording of Ca²⁺ dynamics from hundreds of postsynaptic spines and presynaptic boutons in a cortical pyramidal cell. At dendritic spines, G-CaMP6-actin had the potential to detect localized Ca²⁺ activity triggered by subthreshold synaptic inputs. Back-propagating action potentials reliably induced Ca²⁺ fluorescent increases in all spines. At axonal boutons, G-CaMP6-actin reported action potential trains propagating along axonal collaterals. The detectability of G-CaMP6-actin should contribute toward a deeper understanding of neural network architecture and dynamics at the level of individual synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism
  • Electroporation
  • Hippocampus / cytology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Calcium-Sensing Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Intracellular Calcium-Sensing Proteins
  • Calcium