Golgi impregnation, using the Golgi staining kit with minor adaptations, is used to impregnate dendritic spines in the rat hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. This technique is a marked improvement over previous methods of Golgi impregnation because the premixed chemicals are safer to use, neurons are consistently well impregnated, there is far less background debris, and for a given region, there are extremely small deviations in spine density between experiments. Moreover, brains can be accumulated after a certain point and kept frozen until further processing. Using this method any brain region of interest can be studied. Once stained and cover slipped, dendritic spine density is determined by counting the number of spines for a length of dendrite and expressed as spine density per 10 µm dendrite.
Frankfurt, M., & Bowman, R. (2021). Rapid Golgi stain for dendritic spine visualization in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE, 178, e63404. Doi: 10.3791/63404
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