A high-throughput semi-automated preparation for filtered synaptoneurosomes

J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Sep 30;235:35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.05.036. Epub 2014 Jul 2.


Background: Synaptoneurosomes have become an important tool for studying synaptic proteins. The filtered synaptoneurosomes preparation originally developed by Hollingsworth et al. (1985) is widely used and is an easy method to prepare synaptoneurosomes. The hand processing steps in that preparation, however, are labor intensive and have become a bottleneck for current proteomic studies using synaptoneurosomes. For this reason, we developed new steps for tissue homogenization and filtration that transform the preparation of synaptoneurosomes to a high-throughput, semi-automated process.

New method: We implemented a standardized protocol with easy to follow steps for homogenizing multiple samples simultaneously using a FastPrep tissue homogenizer (MP Biomedicals, LLC) and then filtering all of the samples in centrifugal filter units (EMD Millipore, Corp).

Results and comparison with existing methods: The new steps dramatically reduce the time to prepare synaptoneurosomes from hours to minutes, increase sample recovery, and nearly double enrichment for synaptic proteins. These steps are also compatible with biosafety requirements for working with pathogen infected brain tissue.

Conclusions: The new high-throughput semi-automated steps to prepare synaptoneurosomes are timely technical advances for studies of low abundance synaptic proteins in valuable tissue samples.

Keywords: Centrifugal filtration; High-throughput; Synaptic proteins; Synaptoneurosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Automation
  • Cats
  • Cell Fractionation / methods*
  • Centrifugation / methods
  • Filtration / methods*
  • Frontal Lobe / chemistry
  • Immunoblotting
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Somatosensory Cortex / chemistry
  • Somatosensory Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Synaptosomes* / chemistry
  • Time Factors


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins