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Unique View of Links in the Brain

Jülich, 13 September 2018 – Together with scientists from the University of Bochum, Jülich researchers from the JARA Institute Brain Structure–Function Relations hips (INM-10) have for the first time quantitatively investigated and described in detail a synapse located in the temporal lobe of the human brain using high-resolution digital electron micrographs. In addition to similarities, the investigations on the 3D models of human synapses revealed significant differences compared to synaptic structures in animal models. This applies particularly to the size and the structure of “active zones” (neurotransmitter release sites) and the number and availability of synaptic vesicles. The team of scientists headed by Prof. Joachim Lübke therefore concluded that data collected in animal experiments cannot as a rule be applied to humans directly.

Original publications:

R. Yakoubi, A. Rollenhagen, M. von Lehe, Y. Shao, K. Sätzler and J. H.R. Lübke (2018), Quantitative Three-Dimensional Reconstructions of Excitatory Synaptic Boutons in Layer 5 of the Adult Human Temporal Lobe Neocortex: A Fine-Scale Electron Microscopic Analysis, Cerebral Cortex, 2018; 1–18, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy146

Rollenhagen A., Ohana O., Sätzler K.,Hilgetag C. C., Kuhl D. and Lübke J. H. R. (2018), Structural Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Temporal Dynamics at Excitatory Layer 5B Synapses in the Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex, Front. Synaptic Neurosci., 10:24, doi: 10.3389/fnsyn.2018.00024


Prof. Joachim Lübke
Forschungszentrum Jülich, JARA-Institute Brain Structure-Function Relationsships (INM-10)
Tel: +49 2461 61-2288